Venison supply 1


venison supplyThe aim of this guide is to outline the appropriate legislation associated with the supply of venison and specifically clarify the different obligations imposed by the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996 and the Food Hygiene Regulations.
This guide also provides information on ways to add value to the venison product and maximise profit through venison sales.

Current legislation

Current directly relevant legislation is:

Legislation(1) Range
Food Safety Act 2002 Lays down the general principles and requirements of food law and procedures in matters of food safety, including establishing traceability of food, feed and food producing animals.
Food Hygiene Regs 2006 These set out the basic hygiene requirements for all aspects of your business, from your premises and facilities to the personal hygiene of your staff. One of the key requirements of the law is that you must be able to show what you do to make or sell food that is safe to eat.
Deer (Scotland) Act 1996 The Deer (Scotland) Act requires an individual who sells, offers or exposes for sale the carcass of a deer or any part of a carcass, must hold a Venison Dealer’s Licence unless venison is being sold directly to or bought directly from a LVD. Licences may be granted by councils to any person regarded as being fit to deal in venison.

The following scenarios provide a summary of the venison producer’s responsibilities in the most common situations.

Stalkers selling in-skin carcasses to an Approved Game Handling Establishment


  • No restrictions on amount of carcasses sold.
  • A venison dealer’s licence is not required, provided the operator of the AGHE is a LVD.

Note any abnormal behaviour before culling.

  • A carcass must be inspected by a ‘trained’ person after death for abnormal signs of disease, parasites or contamination. Holding an approved qualification such as updated DSC Level 1 or the Level 2 Certificate in Game Meat Hygiene, is the most robust way in which stalkers can show that they have the appropriate knowledge to be considered “trained”. A declaration tag must be signed by a trained person (available from the licensed processing plant).
  • Keep records that ensure traceability. Should return records of deer culled to Scottish Natural Heritage (Section 40 Deer (Scotland) Act 1996).
  • A carcass should reach the processor as soon as possible. Keep the carcase free from contamination throughout the whole process.
  • It is the responsibility of the producer to ensure they know that any food they produce is to be handled in accordance with the law in the next stage of the food production process.

Larder Requirements

  • Larder must be registered with the Local Authority. Follow general hygiene principles laid out in the Food Standards Regulations.**
  • Carcass core temperature should be brought down to 70C as soon as reasonably possible and be kept below this temperature. Access to a chill will be required in most cases.
  • For both the carcass and the larder, the producer must fulfil HACCP* (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) requirements demanded by the Venison Dealer.
Final consumer Ultimate consumer of a foodstuff who will not use the venison as part of any food business operation or activity
Hazard and Critical Control Points (HACCP) The HACCP system* is internationally accepted as the system of choice for food safety management. It is a preventative approach to food safety based identifying hazards and critical control points, and establishing, verifying, reviewing and recording food safety procedures and measures.
Larder Premises used for keeping killed wild game, where primary products are stored prior to onward transport or processing.
Approved Game Handling Establishment (AGHE) An establishment for processing wild game for general sale both within the UK and for exports. Approved by the Food Standards Agency.
Licenced Venison Dealer (LVD) In Scotland, any persons wishing to sell large wild game require to be Licensed Venison Dealers (Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, unless they are selling directly to or purchasing directly from a LVD. A “licensed venison dealer” means the holder of a Venison Dealer’s Licence granted by the Local Authority within whose area the sale, offer or exposure for sale takes place, or where the premises concerned are situated.
Local Supply “Local” refers to local authority area, neighbouring local authority or a radius of 50km which ever is greater. Also includes mail order and internet sales to the final consumer wherever they may be sent.
Small Quantities Has no absolute figure set as quantity will be self limiting.
Sale Under Section 36 (7) of the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, the term “sale” includes barter, exchange and other transactions by which venison is disposed of for value.
Venison In sections 33, 34 and 36 of the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, “venison” means the carcase or any edible part of the carcase of deer, and “deer” means deer of any species, and includes farmed deer.

continue in Supply of Venison(2)

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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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