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Guidance for Zoo Operators

Information and guidance on zoo licensing under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 and the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2003 are available from your local authority which is responsible for administering the Act.

Under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2003, zoo operators are obliged to implement the conservation and education measures detailed in section 1A of the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2003.

The Standards of Modern Zoo Practice specifies the minimum standards that zoos in England, Scotland and Wales are expected to meet.

The Zoos Expert Committee Handbook supplements the Standards of Modern Zoo Practice and provides guidance with recommendations and examples to aid zoos, zoo inspectors, local authorities and others having an interest in zoos.

Guidance on:

  • obtaining a licence for a new zoo
  • zoo inspections
  • dispensations from the Zoo Licensing Act

can be found on the local authorities pages in addition to flow charts summarizing zoo licensing procedures.

Please note that these documents should not be taken as an authoritative statement of the legal effect of the Act and that the source legislation should also be consulted.