Stalkers directly supplying in-skin carcasses to others
( i.e., not to an Approved Game Handling Establishment)
- Food standards legislation requires that anything put into the food chain must be safe to eat.
- Can only supply small quantities.
- Can not process the carcasses beyond gralloching, removing the head & feet and removing the pluck.
- Can only supply to a final consumer or supply to a retailer (that is itself supplying a final consumer) who is in the same or neighbouring local authority area or is within 50 km radius of the producer’s property, whichever is the greatest.
- If selling the carcass other than to a Venison Dealer, then must have a Venison Dealers Licence* obtained from the Local Authority. Must return cull records to SNH and maintain records of venison traded, the latter to be made available for inspection by SNH (Sections 40 & 34, Deer (Scotland) Act 1996).
- Premises will need to be registered with Local Authority.
- Carcass core temperature should reach 7ºC as soon as reasonably possible and be kept below this temperature. Access to a chill will be required in most cases. Follow general hygiene principles as laid out in the Food Standards Regulations. **
- Will not need to have a HACCP system, but it is recommended that they apply HACCP principles as far as possible.
Stalkers supplying venison skinned or cut by themselves
- Can only supply small quantities to final consumer.
- Must implement general hygiene principles laid out in the Food Standards Regulations.
- Can only supply to a final consumer or only supply to a retailer (that is itself supplying a final consumer) who is in the same or neighbouring local authority area or is within 50 km radius of the producer’s property whichever is the greatest.
- If selling the venison, then must have a Venison Dealers Licence obtained from the Local Authority. Return cull records to SNH and maintain records of venison traded, the latter to be made available for inspection by SNH (Sections 40 & 34, Deer (Scotland) Act 1996).
- Larder must be registered with the local authority. Follow general hygiene principles laid out in the Food Standards Regulations.
- Follow larder construction standards laid out in the Hygiene Regulations** (detailed advice is available from Food Standards Agency).1
- For both the carcass and the larder, the producer must have a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan in place.* Carcass core temperature should reach 70C as soon as reasonably possible and be kept below this temperature. Access to a chill will be required in most cases.
- Must ensure that the cold chain is maintained throughout the whole process of supply (ie the temperature of the meat is never allowed to go up after being chillled).
- Ensure that processed and unprocessed meats are effectively separated to avoid contamination (eg. by adequate space in the chiller, separate processing area, lardering and processing not carried out at the same time in the same area).
Venison Dealers Licence
According to the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, 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 (VDL) (unless they are selling it directly to or have bought it directly from a LVD).
To apply for a VDL you must contact your Local Authority. A VDL is valid for three years and is granted only once the Local Authority have satisfied themselves the applicant is suitable. Every Licensed Venison Dealer must keep records of all transactions under the licence. If giving venison as a gift you do not require a VDL.
Adding Value to the Asset
There are several ways in which venison producers may increase income from venison sales.
Please note that those selling venison must abide by the regulations as detailed above.
Some examples of this are:
This reduces collection costs.
There are several examples of producers grouping together to achieve economies of scale. These schemes can also provide a pool of marketing knowledge & experience.
There are many possibilities for local sales that may need little or no marketing or delivery costs. Perhaps a local butcher or hotel may provide custom. Local farmers markets should also be considered as an outlet.
You may wish to consider online venison sales as a way of keeping marketing and transport costs to a minimum, although this will require a large supply of venison. You should consult with the Food Standards Agency before beginning this practice. If considering using mail order sales, then consult with your Local Authority Trading Standards1 Officer in the first instance.
Scottish Quality Wild Venison Assurance Scheme (SQWV)
Membership of SQWV provides customers with assurance that Scottish wild venison has been produced to an established industry standard. Quality assurance creates a positive message about stalking and wild venison and is evidenced by the SQWV quality mark.
Membership of this scheme indicates compliance with a comprehensive set of standards as to how carcasses should be handled. The scheme also provides guidance on larder design and fitting out. All larders are assessed as a part of the SQWV application process and improvements are stipulated if necessary to meet SQWV requirements.