Cull records


This guide sets out cull records that are either required of or useful for those who take or kill deer. Specifically it identifies:

  • Why records should be kept;
  • What records are required by legislation;
  • What records provide added value.

cull records

Bullet entry/exit codes : 1 Chest; 2 Neck (fatal); 3 Head (fatal); 4 Guts (abdomen;) 5 Brisket (sternum)*; 6 Shoulder (upper scapula)*; 7 Saddle (spinal vertebrae)*; 8 Upper haunch (pelvis)*; 9 Mid haunch*; 10 Back leg; 11 Front leg; 12 Outer neck and head (non-fatal) *; denotes areas of importance to venison quality.

Reasons for Maintaining Cull Records

Data gathered from culled animals may be required to comply with legal requirements,icon to assist with informing deer management iconand to meet standards required through quality meat assurance schemes or individual venison dealersicon.

icon Scottish Natural Heritage: SNH (under Section 40 of the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996) may require owners/occupiers to submit records of deer taken or killed. The information required may include species, sex, whether in season or out and on what type of land* icon
icon Food Hygiene: Hygiene legislation requires that the health, condition and behaviour of deer destined for the food chain is checked and recorded and that the carcass can be traced back from the processor to where it was shot**. icon
icon Deer Management: Cull data collected may be used to inform and monitor management. It is recommended that those collecting the data are briefed on the results and management implications annually. icon
icon Quality Assurance: Quality assurance schemes or the additional food safety management requirements of venison processors may require that extra records be kept. icon

Data to be recorded

Essential data:
If including additional information in the cull record you should be clear as to what it will be used for. Review the data collected on a regular basis to ensure that it is still relevant and is being used for the intended purpose.

  • icon Carcass tag number/declaration number.
  • icon Date shot. (Relates to food hygiene, body condition and reproductive status.)
  • icon Species.
  • icon Sex (M/F).
  • icon Location shot and 6 figure grid reference. (Essential for traceability as well as relating to the Deer Management Plan and cull targets.)
  • icon Time culled (to nearest hour).
  • icon Abnormalities to organs such as the: mouth, tongue, lungs, bladder, kidneys, lymph nodes, adhesion between viscera and abdominal wall and any other part of the carcass.
  • icon Abnormal condition or behaviour observed before shooting.
  • icon Carcass contamination.
  • icon Name of individual who signed inspection declaration.
  • iconButcher weight (gralloched with head, legs and pluck removed, dried) (Kg).
Data providing added value
  • iconName of the individual who culled the deer.
  • iconName of individual who gralloched the deer (if different from above).
  • iconAge class (calf, young, middle, old). If age determination is important to the management objectives, lower jaws must be stored for an independent check at a later date.
  • iconPregnant?
    Embryo: Y/N; Number present.
    (Embryo presence/absence relates to reproductive status.)
    Corpus Lutea: Y/N; Number present.
    (Corpus Lutea indicate the number of eggs which have been released, but do not indicate fertilisation, implantation or pregnancy.)
  • iconMilk in udder? (Y/N)
    (Milk presence/absence can indicate a dependant calf which has welfare considerations.)
  • iconKidney fat cover (code e.g. 0 or 1). (Relates to condition.)
  • iconBullet entry (code - see illustration above). (Relates to carcass value and welfare.)
  • iconBullet exit (code - see illustration above).
  • iconHill weight (gralloched with head, legs and pluck attached) (Kg).
  • iconTime into chiller.
  • iconAir temperature of chiller (or larder if no chiller) (ºC).

An example Deer Larder Record form can be found in the Reference section. See Forms.
cull records

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.

see further key to these symbols