You should never underestimate your power as a member of the public, customer or tourist. You can help by directly raising your concerns with numerous points of contact. 

Please look at the options below for advice on how best to raise your concerns and who to send them to.


  • The Local Authority (local council) where the zoo, captive facility or ‘attraction’ is based.

Local Authorities are responsible for licensing zoos, pet shops, and other facilities that hold wild animals. Performing animals (circuses etc.) are registered by County Councils. A useful website to identify the appropriate Local Authority is www.gov.uk/find-local-council. Search using the zoo or facility’s postcode or town. You could ask to see a copy of the zoo’s most recent inspection.

  • The zoo, captive facility or ‘attraction’ itself. It is important that they hear directly from concerned visitors.
  • Your MP (and to your MSP / AM / MLA if in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland). A useful website to identify your parliamentary representative is www.writetothem.com.
  • Local media or national press – tell them about your experience and concerns. Sending them accompanying photographs may also spark an interest from the media.


Effective letters or emails are short and concise. Approx. 300 words should be adequate to relay your comments and concerns. Be specific about why you are writing and what concerns you. Perhaps you visited an area of attraction with your family or friends. Perhaps you paid an entry fee or bought a ticket. You have the right to raise your concerns about the welfare of animals you have encountered.

Information your letter or email should include:

  • The date of your visit.
  • What you have personally witnessed: what animals you saw or are concerned about
  • Where you saw the animals, the name of the facility/attraction and location
  • Describe the sort of conditions they were in or how the animals were treated 
  • Explain if the animals were being made to perform tricks and what they were doing.
  • Describe your feelings at the time.
  • Ask direct questions that require an answer, such as: can you assure me that my concerns will be investigated? Are you aware that this treatment is going on? What are the laws concerning the welfare of animals in zoos or circuses etc?
  • If you took photographs you could include some with you letter or email.

REMEMBER to ask for a reply and to give your contact details - name, address and/or email.

PLEASE be polite and courteous. You are less likely to receive an answer if you rant or are rude. You want the people that you are writing to, to listen and take you seriously. 

PLEASE send us copies of any replies you may receive - by email or in the post to our UK office (marked FAO: Captivity Programme).


NB For information on how to raise your concerns about captive wild animals you have encountered in a country outside of the UK, please visit the Global ‘take action’ page.

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