If you are thinking of setting up a zoo, it is recommended that you contact the licensing authority in the first instance for advice and guidance. You must submit notification that you intend to apply. Notice must be placed at the site and also published in a local and national newspaper. Two months following notification application can be made.
The notice to the local authority must be accompanied by:
- Relevant application form
- Site/location plan
- Plan showing proposed layout of the zoo
- Planning permission
- Animal accommodation plan
- Entrances and exits plan
- Stock list
- Press notice
- Public liability insurance certificate
- Employer’s liability insurance certificate
Once the notice period of two months has passed application may be made accompanied by:
- Relevant fee
- Relevant application form
- Notice of intention published in press
- Notice of intention displayed at site
- Amended stock list
Vale of Glamorgan Council will consult the police, fire authority, governing body of any national institute concerned with zoos, the adjoining authority if the zoo overlaps the area of that authority, and any person wishing to object on grounds of alleged injurious effect on the health or safety of persons living in the area.
The authority will arrange an inspection by a consultant inspector from the list of suitable inspectors nominated by the Secretary of State.
Before Vale of Glamorgan Council can grant a licence for a zoo in its area it must be satisfied that:
- the establishment will not injuriously affect the health and safety of persons living in the neighbourhood
- the establishment will not affect the preservation of law and order
- the accommodation, staffing and management are adequate for the proper care and well-being of the animals
The inspector will produce a report of his findings and based on the report and other considerations the local authority will grant or refuse to grant a licence. This process may involve determination by the Council’s Licensing Committee. If a licence is refused the operator will receive a written statement of the grounds for refusal.
Each original licence will run for four years, consecutive renewals will run for six years. Failure or late application for renewal may invalidate any public liability insurance for the premises.
A copy of the licence must be displayed at every public entrance of the establishment.
Changes to the licence, for example name changes, and ownership changes can be undertaken at the request of the operator and a licence can be transferred to another person with the approval of the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
On the death of the holder of a licence, the personal representatives of the deceased are deemed to be the holders during a three month period following the death, or longer with our approval.
For small zoos or for a zoo exhibiting only a small number of different kinds of animals the Secretary of State has powers to relax the requirements of the Act. The local authority can seek a direction that the Act shall not apply at all (Section 14(1)(a)) or that certain category of inspection is not required (Section 14(1)(b)).
Alternatively, the zoo operator, on applying to the Secretary of State for a zoo licence, may be granted a dispensation (Section 14(2)) to reduce the number of inspectors to a reasonable level for a small establishment. This will not reduce the zoo’s obligation to achieve the levels of animal welfare and public safety set out in the Secretary of State’s Standards.
Vale of Glamorgan Council will give a licence holder at least nine months notice of the expiry date of the licence. The application to renew the licence should be made at least six months before the expiry of the existing licence. If a request is made at least six months before the licence expires, the Vale of Glamorgan Council will be able to extend a licence without inspection for up to six years beginning at the expiry of the original licence.