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Wild game guidance

Hygiene regulations for supplying game for human consumption.

Last updated: 25 July 2022
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Wild game guidance document

The wild game guidance applies to: 

  • Primary producers (for example, hunters, members of hunting parties, shooting estates)
  • Food Business Operators (FBOs)
  • Enforcement Officers of: Local Authorities (LAs) in England and Wales, District Councils in Northern Ireland, Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)

Additional information for different supply scenarios is available in the guidance.


EU references in FSA guidance documents

The FSA is updating all EU references, to accurately reflect the law now in force, in all new or amended guidance published since the Transition Period ended at the end of 2020.  In some circumstance it may not always be practicable for us to have all EU references updated at the point we publish new or amended guidance. 

Other than in Northern Ireland, any references to EU Regulations in this guidance should be read as meaning retained EU law. You can access retained EU law via HM Government EU Exit Web Archive. This should be read alongside any EU Exit legislation that was made to ensure retained EU law operates correctly in a UK context. EU Exit legislation is on  In Northern Ireland, EU law will continue to apply in respect to the majority of food and feed hygiene and safety law, as listed in the Northern Ireland Protocol, and retained EU law will not apply to Northern Ireland in these circumstances.

    England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    Read the full Wild game guidance document

    The requirements to assure the safety of wild game supplied for human consumption are set out in:

    Specific hygiene rules applying to businesses producing food of animal origin, set out in:

    General rules as regards animal by products derived products not intended for human consumption, set out in:

    General requirements for the hygiene of foodstuffs applying to all food businesses, including primary producers, set out in:

    Rules on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products and associated acts set out in:

    General principles and requirements of food law and procedures in matters of food safety, including traceability of food and feed, set out in:

    Wild game

    Wild game is defined in the legislation as:

    • wild ungulates and lagomorphs, as well as other land mammals that are hunted for human consumption and are considered to be wild game under the applicable law
      wild birds that are hunted for human consumption

    Wild ungulates

    Wild ungulates are land mammals that are hunted for human consumption.

    These can include:

    • hooved animals such as wild deer
    • feral wild boar
    • certain feral populations of sheep and goats


    Lagomorphs are land mammals that are hunted for human consumption.

    • rabbits
    • hares
    • rodents (for example, squirels)

    Wild birds

    Wild birds are those that are hunted for human consumption. An example of this is a pheasant that has been hatched/reared under controlled conditions before being released into the wild to be hunted.

    Wild game photo guidance

    The wild game photo guidance provides examples of good and bad practice. The document covers:

    • cross contamination
    • good and bad transportation
    • bad storage
    • storage in chiller
    • game larders
    • trained person declarations
    • in-feather, plucked and oven ready small wild game

    England, Northern Ireland and Wales

    Trained person declaration

    Any carcases taken to or picked up by an Approved Game Handling Establishment (AGHE) must have had an initial examination by a trained person.

    The carcases must also have a declaration attached, regardless of who shot the deer.

    This declaration must include information about the:

    • species
    • sex
    • date
    • time and location shot
    • identification number

    A statement must also be included to describe any features that were found and can also include:

    • any abnormal behaviour
    • carcass characteristics
    • environmental contamination

    This statement must be signed by a trained person.