Also talk to town planning department (local council, or county council - varies by area) with regard to planning permission requirements. I would have thought that planning consent would be needed... especially concerning things like how visitor's were getting to you, car parking.
I think it depends on what kind of animals you are hoping to keep.
You don't need a licence to keep birds of prey (which is why they so often end up in bad homes) but certain birds do need to be licenced ie buzzards/harris hawks/certain owls etc as they are found in the wild here so every one born and raised in captivity needs to be registered iyswim. (presumably you should already know that though if you have experience of birds of prey?)
Agree you would need to speak to environmental health, also re what kind of insurance you require for a petting zoo...
Thank you all for your replies, council kinda new not a lot, said if the land was used as a farm then wouldn't need permission, but obviously i know the bird centre will need a licence as some of the birds will be vultures, hawks etc, but they didn't have a clue where to ask or what to do, they did say I would have to talk to public protection.
I have wanted to open a petting farm for children for a long while as their is nothing local in our area that is a good quality, easily accessible, child friendly place, and my sister is setting up a birds of prey display business so I was looking at possibly combining the two and having a centre and educational facility on site.
Perhaps try contacting similar centers in other parts of the country. Never know they may be helpful and tell you about what registrations/licences and planning permissions they needed to start running.
In terms of petting farm... to get the animals to the farm, would you need a Animal Movement License? Defra: Animal Move Same page also mentions about Registration of Animals (Pigs, Sheep, Goats).
This PDF mentions about Article 10 Certificates... something to do with Birds of Prey used Commercially - your sister probably knows about that, being the bird expert.
Hawk Board has some information about showing Birds of Prey to the public. Joining associations like that will probably enable you to find out more about what you need to do to show birds to the public.
"Whether you have an existing rural business or are inspired to diversify into rural leisure and tourism, the NFAN will help you in every way possible towards setting up and maintaining your business. Signposting you in the right direction for professional advice and guidance."
Sounds like the people you need to talk to with regard to the Petting Farm side of the business.
Hi everyone, I'm 'atworknotworking's sister. Thank you all for your replies and your research!
I know about the licences we'll need for our actual birds, the A10s etc, because I do falconry already. It's the centre bit I'm confused with
We're just getting a bit confused with the Zoo Licence part, my local council knows absolutely nothing about them. I'm just trying to find out if there are any guidelines before you apply. What are you actually assessed on? Are they just bothered with the health and safety of your birds? Or does public health and safety come into it too? Are they bothered about people cleaning out the aviary without a hard hat on?? lol
If anyone's ever worked for a local authority and has an idea I'd appreciate a poke in the right direction please!
I have nothing v useful to add except - how very cool
Assuming you are not going to be in competition with them, this place in scarborough started out as a small holding selling cakes. Then opened petting zoo, then playground, then a bird of prey centre. Now they are a very sweet and popular attraction in their own right. They might, if you asked nicely, be willing to give some advice??
Thanks all for your replies all been great, have a lot of research to do now. Our council is a bit didn't think about Trading Standards, will give them a call as they have been quite helpful in the past with stuff.
Just to second what a few other people have said, do ask other similar attractions (preferably not too close to you!) for advice.
When I was looking at setting up a very different kind of business, I went and talked to five or six people who had done similar and/or related things. They were all delighted to be asked, gave me loads of time and advice about pitfalls and tips, and were almost entirely lovely.
If you need a loan from the bank to set up the business, as well, that kind of research also helps your case