Wild game guidance
Hygiene regulations for supplying game for human consumption.
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 legislation.gov.uk. 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:
- Retained Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004 in Great Britain
- Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004 in Northern Ireland
General rules as regards animal by products derived products not intended for human consumption, set out in:
- Retained Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009 in Great Britain
- Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009 in Northern Ireland
General requirements for the hygiene of foodstuffs applying to all food businesses, including primary producers, set out in:
- Retained Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 in Great Britain
- Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 in Northern Ireland
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:
- Retained Regulation (EU) No. 2017/625 in Great Britain
- Regulation No. (EU) 2017/625 in Northern Ireland
General principles and requirements of food law and procedures in matters of food safety, including traceability of food and feed, set out in:
- Retained Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 in Great Britain
- Regulation (EC) No. 178/2002 in Northern Ireland
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 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.
- rodents (for example, squirels)
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:
- 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.
Published: 18 December 2017
Last updated: 25 July 2022