- Make slit in hocks of hind legs with knife, large enough to insert gambrel but avoiding severing the tendon and cutting into the meat
- Insert ends of gambrel in slits and hook gambrel to hoist/pulley. Hoist carcass onto rail.
Removing the pluck
- Insert chest-spreader between breastbones. Cut away the diaphragm up to the saddle on either side, staying close to the rib cage and taking care not to cut into the meat.
- Pull out the kidneys.
To remove the pluck, run the knife behind the pluck to cut the connective tissue close to the spine. Take care to avoid cutting the meat.
Cut through the aorta at the point it leaves the spine to connect to the heart. Pulling steadily downwards, pull the pluck down through the neck releasing the windpipe as you go and cut off the windpipe at the neck.
- The recommended hygienic way to remove any contamination is trimming with a clean knife. Generally washing down the carcass should be avoided as it is not fully effective and will spread bacteria to other parts of the carcass. However where solid gut content is present inside the carcass, small quantities of low pressure water may be used before trimming. Any contamination that has been removed should be declared on the ‘Trained Hunter Declaration’.
Removing the head
- To remove head bend the head slightly back. Stick the knife into the neck behind the windpipe at a point below the ear and cut outwards to cut open the throat and to expose the joint between the skull and the atlas bone. Cut the tissue either side of this joint and pull or twist the chin back to dislocate the joint. Inspection of the lymphs node associated with the head could be carried out at this point. Cut through the remaining tissue to completely remove the head.
- After the carcass has been lardered and dried, record butcher (larder) weight (i.e. gralloched, with head, legs and pluck removed)
Storage & security
- Ensure the temperature of carcasses stored reach 7oC or less within a reasonable time.
- Ensure carcasses are protected from vermin and flies.
- Lock facilities when they are left unattended and ensure the key is only accessible to authorised personnel.
Dressing a carcass in the field
In exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to dress a carcass fully in the field, particularly in the case of smaller species. For reasons relating to food hygiene and food safety, this practice is not recommended, unless extra care is taken to minimise contamination risks.
- Ensure that where a carcass is dressed in situ, that every possible measure has been taken to prevent contamination to the carcass and that hygiene principles are adhered to.*
- When removing pluck, head and feet in field, ensure that a full health check is completed.**
A carcass that has been field dressed must never be dragged.
The carcass should be extracted inside a thoroughly clean bag such as a roe sack.
- Avoid cross contamination while being transported by vehicle. Do not heap carcass and use a covered, clean washable container.
- Ensure that all waste is disposed of in accordance with BPG Larder Hygiene & Waste Disposal.