To run a zoo within the Moray area, you need a licence from us. The licence may be subject to fees and conditions to ensure the proper conduct of the zoo. More information about a zoo licence can be found on the Scottish Government website.
At least two months before making an application for a licence, the applicant must give notice in writing (including by electronic means) to us of their intention to make the application. The notice must identify:
- the zoo's location
- the types of animals and approximate number of each group kept for exhibition on the premises and the arrangements for their accommodation, maintenance and wellbeing
- the approximate numbers and categories of staff to be employed in the zoo
- the approximate number of visitors and motor vehicles for which accommodation is to be provided
- the approximate number and position of access to be provided to the premises
- how required conservation measures will be implemented at the zoo
At least two months before making the application, the applicant must also publish notice of that intention in one local newspaper and one national newspaper and exhibit a copy of that notice. The notice must identify the location of the zoo and state that the application notice to us is available to be inspected at our offices.
When considering an application we will take into account any representations made by or on behalf of:
- the applicant
- the chief constable
- the appropriate authority - this is either the enforcing authority or relevant authority in whose area the zoo will be situated
- the governing body of any national institution concerned with the operation of zoos
- where part of the zoo is not situated in the Moray area with power to grant the licence, a planning authority for the relevant area
- any person alleging that the zoo would affect the health or safety of people living in the neighbourhood
- anyone stating that the zoo would affect the health or safety of anyone living near it
- any other person whose representations might show grounds on which the authority has a power or duty to refuse to grant a licence
Before granting or refusing to grant the licence, we will consider any inspectors' reports based on their inspection of the zoo, consult the applicant about any conditions they propose should be attached to the licence and make arrangements for an inspection to be carried out. At least 28 days notice of the inspection shall be provided by us.
We will not grant the licence if we feel that the zoo would adversely affect the health or safety of people living in near it, or seriously affect the preservation of law and order or if we are not satisfied that appropriate conservation measures would be satisfactorily implemented.
An application may also be refused if:
- We are not satisfied that accommodation, staffing or management standards are suitable for the proper care and wellbeing of the animals or for the proper conduct of the zoo
- the applicant, or if the applicant is an incorporated company, the company or any of the company's directors, managers, secretaries or other similar officers, or a keeper in the zoo, has been convicted of any offence involving the ill-treatment of animals
Applications to renew a licence will be considered no later than six months before the expiry of the existing licence, unless a shorter time period is allowed by us.
The Secretary of State, after consulting with us, may direct us to attach one or more conditions to a licence.
We may advise the Secretary of State that, because of the small number of animals kept in the zoo or the small number of the kinds of animal kept there, a direction should be made that that a licence is not required.
Will Tacit Consent Apply?
No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or use the contact details below.
View our table of fees.
To notify us about your intention to operate a zoo, make an application or tell us about a change to your zoo licence please use the links in the Online Services box below.
Governance, Strategy & Performance