Gralloching 2

opening the stomach cavity using fingers to prevent puncture to intestines

opening the stomach cavity using fingers to prevent puncture to intestines

4. Open up the stomach cavity.

  • Turn the deer on its back, and, taking care not to puncture the intestines or stomach, make an incision with the blade of knife, that runs from just forward of the udder or to either side of the penis to the breast bone. Try to avoid cutting into the udder or the urethra behind the penis as this can contaminate meat.

showing all the organs involved in the gralloch

showing all the organs involved in the gralloch

5. Remove the stomach and intestines.

  • Turn the deer on it’s right side and use fingers to break the connective tissue between the spleen and the diaphragm. Break off the blood vein attached to the liver. Leave the spleen attached to the stomach and remove the stomach and intestines leaving behind the liver, kidneys, lungs and heart. You can also squeeze the bladder at this point to empty it; however, care must be taken if this is to be carried out on male deer. You should also remove the foetus at this stage taking care not to puncture the surrounding protective sac.

freeing the foodpipe

freeing the foodpipe

6. Free the foodpipe.

  • The gralloch will still be attached to the carcass by the foodpipe. Use fingers to break connective tissue to free the knotted foodpipe where it passes through the diaphragm. Grip the foodpipe and, applying a steady pull to it, draw it carefully into the stomach cavity without breaking it. Remove from carcass along with the rest of the gralloch.

Foodpipe freed. To fully free the gralloch, locate foodpipe which, prior to its careful withdrawal, will appear as held tight to the wall of the diaphragm. Maintaining a steady pressure, pull the foodpipe through the diaphragm wall

Foodpipe freed. To fully free the gralloch, locate foodpipe which, prior to its careful withdrawal, will appear as held tight to the wall of the diaphragm. Maintaining a steady pressure, pull the foodpipe through the diaphragm wall

7. Free the rectum.

  • To minimise contamination, from inside the carcass, squeeze any pellets in the rectum back toward the stomach then pinch close to the anus and pull, so that it breaks free. Keep the rectum pinched closed until it is removed from the stomach cavity.

pulling the pellets along the back passage towards the stomach, before freeing the rectum

pulling the pellets along the back passage towards the stomach, before freeing the rectum

8. Inspect the carcass.

  • A ‘trained hunter’ should carry out an inspection of the carcass at suitable stages in the process − of the behaviour and gralloch in the field and of the carcass, pluck, head and hooves. In particular the lymph nodes should be examined for signs of disease.*
  • Where a Notifiable Disease is suspected inform the Divisional Veterinary Manager1 immediately.
  • Where TB is suspected** take the gralloch or viscera in an impervious container (e.g. a strong, sealed plastic bag) along with the carcass back to the larder. Retain with the carcass and pluck outwith the larder in secure storage, separate from other carcasses, for inspection by a veterinary officer from the local Animal Health Divisional Office.1

9. Dispose of waste.

  • Dispose of all waste and offal in accordance with the procedures in BPG Larder Hygiene & Waste Disposal.

10. Extract the carcass.

  • The carcass should be taken to the larder as soon as possible after killing. Ensure that it cools steadily down to 70C within a reasonable period of time and remains at or below that temperature (e.g. before spoilage occurs), which will be dependent on weather conditions.
  • In the event that carcasses must be left out in the field overnight, assist steady cooling by turning the carcass on its back, coring out the back passage and by pulling the attached pluck outside the chest cavity.

11. Record necessary data.

  • Proper records are required to be kept to ensure traceability (ideally in a larder record). To aid record keeping back at the larder, make a note of any information at the gralloching stage that may be relevant for traceability and ensuring food safety. The following information will be required:
    • Place, time and date of culling;
    • Name of the ‘trained person’ who inspected the carcass;
    • Details of any abnormal behaviour, injury or disease observed.

A tag bearing these details and signed by the ‘trained person’ must be attached to the carcass if being sold to a licensed game dealer. If completing a trained hunter declaration you must take note of all relevent information for completion of the tag. The stage at which you complete this tag will depend entirely on individual situations. However, if you are taking multiple carcasses back to be lardered or are involved in team culling you should complete the information required at the gralloching stage. Any carcass found to be incorrectly tagged or untagged will be condemed by any Approved Game Handling Establishment.

Key to symbols

  • This symbol highlights a legal requirement. It is an offence not to comply.
  • This symbol highlights an action or task required in order to safeguard public safety, food safety and animal welfare.  
  • This symbol highlights an action or task required in order to carry out the task effectively.

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