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Wild game guidance

Hygiene regulations for supplying game for human consumption.

Last updated: 25 July 2022
See all updates
Last updated: 25 July 2022
See all updates

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.


References to EU legislation in FSA guidance 

Directly applicable EU legislation no longer applies in GB. EU legislation retained when the UK exited the EU became assimilated law on 1 January 2024, published on References to any legislation in FSA guidance with ‘EU’ or ‘EC’ in the title (e.g. Regulation (EC) 178/2002) should now be regarded as assimilated law where applicable to GB. References to ‘Retained EU Law’ or ‘REUL’ should now be regarded as references to assimilated law. 

For businesses moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, information on the Windsor Framework is available on GOV.UK. 

The Windsor Framework was adopted by the UK and EU on 24 March 2023. The Framework provides a unique set of arrangements to support the flow of agrifood retail products from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI), allowing GB standards for public health in relation to food, marketing and organics to apply for pre-packed retail goods moved via the NI Retail Movement Scheme (NIRMS).

    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, squirrels)

    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.