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 impact of the Coronavirus (COVID -19) continues to have a significant impact on the processing of licence applications.
If you need to get in touch with the Licensing Team, please do so by email to the following address: email@example.com
Email enquiries will be prioritised and responded to on a priority/urgent basis. We cannot accept phone calls at present.
In the meantime, applications for licences and permits (with the exception of hire car applications, please refer to the hire car webpages for details of how to make these) should be posted to the
West Lothian Council,
along with cheques or postal orders for payment of any fee required and copies of all required supporting documentation.
If you are unable to post your application and fee please contact the Licensing Team by email.
Please be aware that there will likely be delays in the processing of applications due to changes in working conditions at present.
If you are an event organiser you should note that when possible applicants will be able to email amended applications for events which have been postponed due to Covid-19 as long as the details of the event remain exactly the same and only the event date is changing, any other changes to event details will require a new application to be submitted in the usual manner.
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.
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.
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 downloads 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.
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.
You should notify us as soon as you can if your details change or any of the information given in your application becomes out of date due to a change in your circumstances.
If you no longer wish to hold your licence you can surrender it to the council at any time by returning your licence together with a letter stating that you wish to surrender it. If you surrender your licence it will cease to have effect.
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.