Zoo Operation

Last Update on 13/05/2021

Establishment and Operation of a Zoo

General Information

In order to establish and operate a zoo in the Republic of Cyprus, one needs to obtain a licence by the Veterinary Services of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.

The Veterinary Services grant a license for the operation of a zoo in the Republic of Cyprus provided that:

  • The personnel employed for the handling of animals possess a license as a professional animal carer or trainer;
  • A town planning permit for the establishment is available;
  • The premises are supervised by a registered veterinarian.

Moreover, in order for physical persons or legal entities to be eligible to establish a zoo, the Veterinary Services require the following:

  • The personnel of the zoo must have not been convicted for any crime related to animal abuse;
  • The zoo premises were built after attaining the required town planning permit that was issued in accordance to the relevant legislation;
  • The zoo must employ an adequate number of personnel, skillful in maintaining wild animals;
  • Animal enclosures must ensure the accommodation of the animals under conditions which aim to satisfy the biological and conservation requirements of the animals. Moreover, the health and welfare of animals as well as the hygiene of the enclosures must be ensured;
  • The zoo must operate under the supervision of a registered veterinarian in accordance with the Exercise of Veterinary Practice and Registration of Veterinary Surgeons Law;
  • The protection and safety of both the animals and visitors must be ensured.

The application for establishing a zoo can be submitted either through the PSC Cyprus or you can contact directly the competent authority:

Veterinary Services
Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment
1417 Nicosia
Tel: +357 22805249
Fax: +357 22805176
E-mail: director@vs.moa.gov.cy
Website: http://www.moa.gov.cy/moa/vs

  1. The application should be accompanied by the following documents:

    • Copy of licence of professional animal carer or trainer, required for the personnel employed for the handling of animals;
    • Original list of all the wild animals proposed to be kept at the zoo;
    • Copy of a topographic plan and a detailed architectural plan for the premises;
    • Copy of the town planning permit;
    • An original document describing the conditions under which the animals will be accommodated. More specifically, the document must include a description of the proposed enclosure plan for all the wild animal species as well as the proposed measures to be taken for the enrichment of the enclosures;
    • Copy of proposed programme for animal husbandry which must include preventive and curative veterinary care and nutrition;
    • Copy of proposed measures of preventing any animal escape;
    • Copy of the proposed action plan to be followed in case of fire, flood or other natural disasters;
    • Original certificate of criminal record for the applicant as well as the personnel employed for the handling of animals;
    • An original document containing information regarding any financial aid or funding for the implementation of the particular project;
    • An application examination fee of €34 (payable by cash, cheque or bank transfer).

    After the submission of the application, an inspection of the zoo premises is carried out by the responsible Veterinary Officer of the Animal Health and Welfare Division and the responsible Veterinary Officer of the relevant District Veterinary Office.

An application examination fee of €34 (payable by cash, cheque or bank transfer)

Upon approval, the applicant needs to pay to the Veterinary Services the fee of €513 for the license issuance (payable by cash, cheque or bank transfer).

The applicant is informed regarding the authorisation decision within 3 months from the date that the application form and supporting documents were duly submitted.

The license is valid for five years.

Administrative Action against a Competent Authority’s Decision

Any person may file an Administrative Action at the Administrative Court against a decision, act, or omission of any competent authority or body.

Pursuant to Article 146 of the Constitution, an Administrative Action may be lodged within 75 days from the date of the decision or act or omission or from the day when such decision or act or omission was notified to the applicant.

The Administrative Court acts as a cassation Court and not as a substantive Court. In other words, the Administrative Court may:
I. Dismiss the Administrative Action
II. Annul wholly or partially the contested decision or act
III. Compel the relevant authority or body to take a certain action

After a decision is annulled, the authority and/or public body must reverse things back to the state prior to when the concerned decision and/or act was executed and reexamine.

Appeal Information

An Appeal may be filed against the Administrative Court’s first-instance decision within a period of 42 days from the date such a decision was given.

At the Supreme Court (Court of Appeal Section) hearing, the contested issue of the appeal remains the legality of the decision or act already adjudicated. However, such a revision of the legality of the decision or act is solely examined on the matters and the extent that the two parties have limited the reasons in the relevant notice of appeal.

The decision adopted by the Supreme Court is considered final in relation to the matter that has been judged.

  • The license owner must obtain and hold a valid insurance policy regarding any damage or injury caused by an animal kept at the zoo;
  • The license owner must keep up to date records of the zoo´s animal collection;
  • The licence owner must comply with the provisions of the Protection and Welfare of Animals (Keeping of Wild Animals in Zoos) Regulations and the provisions of the Protection and Welfare of Animals Law.

Any license owner, who receives a notification from the Veterinary Services regarding the suspension or withdrawal of the zoo licence has the right to object in writing to the Director of Veterinary Services, given that within 7 days upon receipt of the notification he/she will notify in writing to the Director his/her wish to act upon this right. The objection should be submitted within 21 days from the day of notification.