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Petting Zoos


City Health and Mental Hygiene, Department of

The operation of a petting zoo in New York City for commercial purposes requires a permit, granted by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Veterinary Public Health Services (VPHS).

No petting zoo may be operated for more than ten (10) consecutive days at a time, unless operating at the site of and at the request of a non-profit educational institution, such as a zoo, museum, or school. A petting zoo permit is temporary; zoological parks and aquariums operated by the Department of Parks, by the Wildlife Conservation Society, or by the Staten Island Zoological Society are governed by different rules and regulations.

All petting zoos are subject to inspection by employees or agents of Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the ASPCA, Department of Sanitation, the New York City Police Department, or any other appropriate City agencies at any time. Petting zoos that do not comply with all applicable laws and the above conditions may be closed, issued a Notice of Violation, and/or have their animals confiscated.

Failure to notify the Department of any changes in the exhibition schedule will invalidate permission to exhibit. All federal and state regulations regarding the importation of animals into the US and New York State must be adhered to.

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DoHMH)

Office of Veterinary Public Health Services

125 Worth Street, Box 66

New York NY 10013
Fax (646) 364-1801

For further assistance, please call 311 and ask for: Petting Zoo Permit

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