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 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

Licensing Team,
West Lothian Council,
Civic Centre,
EH54 6FF

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.

What is meant by venison dealers returns'?

How do you apply for a licence?

How will my application be decided?

What if my details change or I no longer wish to hold my licence?

How do you complain about venison dealers?