From 1 August 2007 the Regulatory Reform (Game) Order 2007 removed the existing licence requirements for the game trade.  This means that you no longer need a Council licence (or an Excise Licence from the Post Office) in order to deal in game - such as venison, pheasant, partridge, grouse, hare and rabbit.  If you deal in game birds or venison you should make sure that you buy your stock from an approved and reputable supplier.

You must check your source before your sell, offer or expose for sale, take or transport for sale.  This is because you will be committing an offence if you know, or have reason to believe, that the game bird or venison you offer for sale was unlawfully killed, taken or poached during the close season.

Restrictions on dealing in game birds or venison during the close season no longer apply, but the restriction on killing in the close seasons remain.

Businesses will still need to keep traceability records as required by EU Regulation 178/2002.

The regulations also remove the requirement to have a licence to kill or take game.

You can find more information from the Government Department for Enviornment, Food and Rural Affairs at or Business Link at

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