Animal exhibits and displays

Animals can be kept on display in zoos, animal farms and petting zoos or touring animal shows or exhibits. Animals can also be used in a circus. 

If you are planning to exhibit animals or use them in a circus, apply for a permit from the Regional State Administrative Agency.

Information on keeping animals on exhibit

Zoos mainly exhibit animals which belong to the wild species.

A zoo must:

  • promote the protection of wild fauna
  • promote the preservation of biodiversity
  • provide the audience with information on the displayed species and their living habitats.

In addition, a zoo must participate in the following:

  • research which promotes the protection of animal species
  • training which relates to the skills of protecting animal species
  • exchange of information regarding the protection of species
  • if appropriate; raising species of animals in captivity, replanting of a population or returning species to nature.

An animal farm is a permanent animal exhibit where mainly domestic farm animals are on display. 

In a touring animal exhibit, animals are kept on display in locations which are not permanent.

In a circus, the audience can be shown the skills taught to animals. A permit for such operations must be applied from the Regional State Administrative Agency, also when animals are used in other similar shows.

Instructions for applying for a permit

Before you apply for a permit, you need to study the animal protection requirements associated with keeping animals. 
Send your permit application to the Regional State Administrative Agency. The permit must be applied for in good time before you start your operations.

Remember to register as an animal husbandry operator with the rural development officials of your municipality.

The application can be free in form.

Include at least the following information in the application:

  • your personal information:
    • your name
    • your address
    • your telephone number
  • the information for the animal exhibition or circus:
    • address
    • identifiers of the place where the animals are kept
    • Business ID
  • the species of animals and their number
  • for the places where animals are kept
    • a description
    • floor plans
    • square metres
  • an account of how
    • the daily care of the animals has been arranged
    • the animals are fed
    • the preventive health care of the animals has been arranged
    • sick animals are treated
  • information on who are participating in the care of the animals.

If you are applying for a permit to use the animals in a circus, also append the following documents:

  • a description of the performance numbers where the animals would be participating
  • a description of the stunts the animals would be performing.

If you are applying for a permit to keep the animals in a zoo, also append a report on how the zoo intends to participate in

  • protecting the wild fauna
  • promoting the preservation of biodiversity.

The Regional Veterinary Officer will process the permit application. If required, we will request for additional information. 

We will inspect the location where the animals are kept, before we issue a permit. We will contact the permit applicant to make an appointment for the inspection.

A permit for touring and permanent exhibits carries the same permit fee. 

The processing fees for a permit:

  • a permit for circus or a zoo is EUR 1530

  • permanent animal exhibition permit EUR 620

  • touring animal exhibition permit EUR 620

  • an amendment to a permit, section 56, EUR 255

  • processing fee for notifications concerning petting farms, section 57, EUR 170

We will send you an invoice afterwards.

The same fee applies regardless of whether or not a permit application is successful.

We will issue a permit, when the places where the animals are kept, the care of the animals and the activities fulfil the legal requirements. 

In addition, the stunts and numbers that the animals perform must adhere to relevant legislation.

We will issue a permit for a zoo when, in addition to the general requirements stated above, the zoo also participates in the protection of wild fauna and the preservation of biodiversity.

If there are essential changes in the operation of your animal exhibit, you need to apply for a new permit from the Regional State Administrative Agency. 

Essential changes include, for example

  • you acquiring new species of animals
  • a significant change in the numbers of animals.


The Regional State Administrative Agency and the municipal veterinarian supervise the zoos, animal exhibits, animal farms and circuses.

If you suspect that an animal has been ill-treated or neglected, you can report it. Anyone can file an animal cruelty report. 

Submit a notification to the Regional State Administrative Agency or the municipal veterinarian.

On the basis of the notification, the Regional State Administrative Agency or the municipal veterinarian can conduct an animal welfare inspection in the zoo, animal exhibit, animal farm or circus. We also conduct inspections when no neglect is suspected in the keeping of animals.

We can also inspect a zoo, animal exhibit, animal farm or circus when there are changes in their operations.

Links to legal texts