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Venison Dealers' Licence

In terms of the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996 venison dealers require to be licensed by their local authority. The scheme for licensing venison dealers is administered by the Council's Licensing Team.

The Team are able to provide general guidance on the scheme but cannot assist you to complete your application form or provide legal advice on whether a licence is required. You should seek legal advice from a solicitor or advice centre if you are unsure as to whether you require a licence. 

Who requires a venison dealer's licence from the Council?

It is an offence for any person to sell, offer or expose for sale, venison unless he / she is a licensed venison dealer or is selling to or has purchased from a licensed venison dealer.

It is essentially only wholesalers who require to be licensed; therefore there is no need for every butcher and retailer in Scotland to be licensed so long as the venison on sale has been purchased from a licensed dealer.

Venison means the carcase or any edible part of the carcase of a deer, and deer means deer of any species, whether or not deer within the meaning of Section 45 of the Deer (Scotland) Act 1996, and includes farmed deer.

What is meant by 'Venison dealers returns' ?

Licensed venison dealers must maintain records of purchases and receipts of venison which are open to inspection by Scottish Natural Heritage and any police officer.

Scottish Natural Heritage require all licensed venison dealers in Scotland to submit their records of all purchases and receipts of venison for the period 1 April - 31 March each year.

How do you apply for a licence?

If you want to apply for a licence you must submit an application form along with the required documents and the appropriate fee.

Application forms which have guidance notes attached to them and a list of fees are available from the Related Documents section of this page. You should read the guidance notes carefully before completing your application form.

There are two separate application forms. One is for persons applying for a licence as an individual and the other is to be completed by applicants who are companies, partnership or organisations.

All applications are copied to the Council's advisors and mandatory background checks will be carried out on all applicants by Police Scotland and applicants' details will be retained on computer. You will be contacted once vetting is complete.

How will my application be decided?

Applications which do not attract any adverse comments or objections are granted by the Chief Solicitor under delegated powers and licences are valid for three years. All other applications require to be referred to the Licensing Committee for determination and you will be advised if your application is being referred to the Licensing Committee.

How do you complain about venison dealers?

Complaints regarding the conduct of licence holders may be made to the Licensing Team. These should be made in writing by email or letter providing full details of the nature of the complaint and sent to the Licensing Team using the contact details box

Complaints regarding unlicensed venison dealers should be made to Police Scotland by calling 101.

How much are the application and renewal fees?

More information regarding  pdf icon current application fees [66kb]​