Zoo Animals Fund


Animal welfare grants are available for licensed zoos and aquariums in England that have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Maximum value:  £ 730,000

Objectives of Fund

Zoo Animals Fund has been launched to aid licensed zoos and aquariums in England that have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Government’s social distancing guidance has meant that zoos and aquariums have had to close temporarily for the safety of their staff and customers. During this time, zoos are working to ensure their animal welfare standards are upheld and the animals’ health needs continue to be met.

The scheme will support the industry during this challenging time, offering funding to help cover costs relating to animal-keeping such as feed, heating and security.

Value Notes

This is a £100 million fund.

Applicants can apply for an animal welfare grant of up to £730,000 for a zoo or aquarium affected by COVID-19.

The level of support provided will be based on the animals’ needs within the establishment.

Who Can Apply

Those who run a licensed zoo or aquarium, including charities, in England and are experiencing severe financial difficulties because of lost revenue may apply. The establishments must be covered by the Zoo Licensing Act. Before applying, applicants must try to reduce costs and generate income in other ways, including applying for COVID-19 business support schemes and commercial and philanthropic funding.

Applicants can apply if they have already applied for funding under the ‘Zoos Support Fund’ between May and July 2020.


Applicants cannot apply if they are individual zoos that is part of a group of zoos and/or have a parent company. They can apply on behalf of the group, or its parent company may make an application on behalf of the zoos within the group.

Eligible Expenditure

The grant can be used to cover animal-care costs that cannot be lowered, such as:

  • Keepers’ wages.
  • Animal feed and bedding.
  • Veterinary care and medicines.
  • Electricity and gas bills.
  • Waste removal.
  • Habitat enrichment.
  • Professional membership subscriptions.
  • Veterinary, transport and staff costs for rehoming animals.

The grant will help to cover these costs up to March 2021.

How To Apply

Applicants can apply for funding at any time until 29 January 2021.

The grant funding is not unlimited, and applications will be assessed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on a strictly first come first served basis.

Those who are in severe financial difficulties are advised to apply as soon as possible to avoid delays in payment.

Those who have questions or require more details of how to apply should contact Defra by email zoos.branch@defra.gov.uk

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