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Thread: Game-dealer Hygiene Requirements Farce

  1. #1

    Game-dealer Hygiene Requirements Farce

    Last Thursday we shot a young 8 point sika stag and a hind calf from this year (general licence), and left them in the chill. There were several pheasants also in the chill, which is large with the deer are at one side and the birds the other.

    The stag weighed 90lbs and the calf about 30lbs.

    The game-dealer who takes the pheasants from the estate decides to take the deer as well, despite not being asked to. I don't use him for deer as he pays poor money and all mine go to the one dealer elsewhere, after being tagged etc. These two are not tagged as they are meant to be going straight to a friend who wanted them.

    I go to put a beast in last night to discover the two from Thursday missing and find out through the keeper that the dealer lifted them on Friday and left payment, but claimed and wrote up that one had its saddle damaged. No it wasn't, at least not the ones I left there....

    So, this morning I phone this game-dealer to have it out with him. He says to me that he has picked up a few deer from the estate over the last few months and found them to be badly shot and in the future he will skin them when back at his larder and decide on the payment after inspection! I said to him that I would save him the bother and that he should not have picked up any of my deer from the estate in the first place and that the ones he is claiming are from me that are damaged are not mine. This is not making much sense to me as the keeper shoots the odd one or two and I have seen them hanging and they have not been badly shot. I then went on to ask him why they were picked up in the first place and his excuse is to blame the van driver as he 'can't get the staff....'.

    I ask him if the staff are capable of reading the weights on a set of scales because clearly according to the paperwork left at the larder subsequently indicate that a 4-5 month old calf weighs 49lbs and a young 8 point stag weighs 70lbs???? In other words not the deer I shot! His reply was that the van driver must have got them mixed up back at the shop!!!!!! I ask him to explain and he tells me it's difficult to keep tabs on where all the deer come from as they are all thrown into a van and get mixed up!!!! I asked if he was serious...... he was.

    So I say, 'just let me get this right, you have no idea what ground the deer you have in your shop are actually coming from?' He replies, 'No, I do know, they come from several estates in the area', and he begins to rattle off their names. I ask how then does he clarify specifically which estate a particular carcass comes from, when the ones he lifted from my chill were not tagged and written up (as all mine who go to a dealer are), as they were not going into the food chain but to a private individual? Silence...

    I then told him that clearly he is giving me payment for deer that were not even mine confirmed by the weights themselves and the damage he suggested one has, therefore what happens with the trace-ability of the beasts never mind accountability when something goes wrong and the health inspectors turn up to see me when the bad venison has not come from my estate? It was suggested at that point I should call back tomorrow and speak with the boss....

    I know for a fact this is not unique with some game-dealers and can remember many years ago one we used occasionally opening up the side of a large van and telling me to just throw them in, on top of about another 15 lying there from who knows where!

    This in fact makes a mockery of the hunter hygiene side of things in stalking, and worries me somewhat when we are doing our bit yet could still be faced with trying to explain they have the wrong man when something goes wrong. All I have in my favour for this incident is a roll of tags that are clearly used but not having placed one on the carcasses he claims to get from me he in turn could not produce one as proof it's mine, and a friend who was out helping that night who can back up what deer were shot and their weights.

    Do the game dealers who do things properly keep tags as proof for where they uplift deer from should they need to explain something in the future, or are their entries in a book sufficient? It has made me realise just how flawed the system actually is and even when we do our bit we could still find ourselves trying to prove we in fact have nothing to do with a particular carcass...


  2. #2
    That's shocking!
    Trading standards should be involved, surely!
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  3. #3
    SD Regular
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    When I worked on a large aberdeenshire estate our game and deer was collected by a large reputable game dealer who collected from all over the uk. The protocol when loading the several hundred pheasants and very numerous amounts of red deer which were needlessly shot to reduce the tick burden for the grouse was to throw them in the back of the van ontop of whatever else was in there. makes a mockery of the whole 'cross contamination' thing!!
    At another gamedealers my friend uses we went to put some roe in and saw deer hanging up without tags, head and feet still on, some shocking carcass cleaning out, and one which looked like it hadn't been shot but was a RTA!
    in comparison the gamedealer who came to collect our red deer whilst at east Monar estate up Glenstrathfarrar took as much pride and effort in his collection as we did in our preparation. Each carcass was hung up on the rail in the back of his chiller van, all tagged and logged at the larder a receipt given on collection for number of carcasses and accompanying pizzles during the stags. He was a small one man band so to speak.

    The whole hygiene thing is a hypocritical farce! however...... we should still do our bit so as not to create anymore reasons for the authorities to put restrictions in place.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by monarman View Post
    When I worked on a large aberdeenshire estate our game and deer was collected by a large reputable game dealer who collected from all over the uk. The protocol when loading the several hundred pheasants and very numerous amounts of red deer which were needlessly shot to reduce the tick burden for the grouse was to throw them in the back of the van ontop of whatever else was in there. makes a mockery of the whole 'cross contamination' thing!!
    At another gamedealers my friend uses we went to put some roe in and saw deer hanging up without tags, head and feet still on, some shocking carcass cleaning out, and one which looked like it hadn't been shot but was a RTA!
    in comparison the gamedealer who came to collect our red deer whilst at east Monar estate up Glenstrathfarrar took as much pride and effort in his collection as we did in our preparation. Each carcass was hung up on the rail in the back of his chiller van, all tagged and logged at the larder a receipt given on collection for number of carcasses and accompanying pizzles during the stags. He was a small one man band so to speak.

    The whole hygiene thing is a hypocritical farce! however...... we should still do our bit so as not to create anymore reasons for the authorities to put restrictions in place.
    ​Couldn't agree more with that sentiment...

  5. #5
    If they are that bad then report them. Disreputable game dealers will bring the whole house of cards down on top of us all and we'll end up with even more draconian legislation as a result.

    Report should be made to the local authority in the first instance I believe. Failing that, try the FSA


    Food Standards Agency - Report an incident
    Last edited by csl; 28-10-2013 at 12:26.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by csl View Post
    If they are that bad then report them. Disreputable game dealers will bring the whole house of cards down on top of us all and we'll end up with even more draconian legislation as a result.

    Report should be made to the local authority in the first instance I believe. Failing that, try the FSA


    Food Standards Agency - Report an incident
    Thanks for the link. Ill phone them back in the morning to speak with the owner just to make sure what the bloke I spoke said is accurate...

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by csl View Post
    If they are that bad then report them. Disreputable game dealers will bring the whole house of cards down on top of us all and we'll end up with even more draconian legislation as a result.

    Report should be made to the local authority in the first instance I believe. Failing that, try the FSA


    Food Standards Agency - Report an incident
    Well said, this is the only way you can deter unscrupulous game dealers.

  8. #8
    I had this 2 years ago with a game dealer down south and he claimed it was saddle damaged and paid half the price to which I asked him how he had found this entry and exit damage on a fully prepped and tagged carcass that had been shot in the back of the head facing away from me?????????? this conversation swiftly turned to me demanding what he owe me followed by me telling him to foxtrot oscar. Game dealers are the weak link in my opinion and easiest point of entry for quantities of illegally gained venison to enter the food chain.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jamross65 View Post
    Thanks for the link. Ill phone them back in the morning to speak with the owner just to make sure what the bloke I spoke said is accurate...
    Probably more accurate than what the boss is gonna tell you... and the "standard" will continue after he gets rid of the guy that talked to you... Bottom line, aside from the hygiene issues, they are thieves. You as a hunter have the responsibility (to yourself and every other hunter) to bust them wide open as an example to all others that hunters are honest and responsible folks and won't tolerate anyone trying to make them look different.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jamross65 View Post
    Last Thursday we shot a young 8 point sika stag and a hind calf from this year (general licence), and left them in the chill. There were several pheasants also in the chill, which is large with the deer are at one side and the birds the other.

    The stag weighed 90lbs and the calf about 30lbs.

    The game-dealer who takes the pheasants from the estate decides to take the deer as well, despite not being asked to. I don't use him for deer as he pays poor money and all mine go to the one dealer elsewhere, after being tagged etc. These two are not tagged as they are meant to be going straight to a friend who wanted them.

    I go to put a beast in last night to discover the two from Thursday missing and find out through the keeper that the dealer lifted them on Friday and left payment, but claimed and wrote up that one had its saddle damaged. No it wasn't, at least not the ones I left there....

    So, this morning I phone this game-dealer to have it out with him. He says to me that he has picked up a few deer from the estate over the last few months and found them to be badly shot and in the future he will skin them when back at his larder and decide on the payment after inspection! I said to him that I would save him the bother and that he should not have picked up any of my deer from the estate in the first place and that the ones he is claiming are from me that are damaged are not mine. This is not making much sense to me as the keeper shoots the odd one or two and I have seen them hanging and they have not been badly shot. I then went on to ask him why they were picked up in the first place and his excuse is to blame the van driver as he 'can't get the staff....'.

    I ask him if the staff are capable of reading the weights on a set of scales because clearly according to the paperwork left at the larder subsequently indicate that a 4-5 month old calf weighs 49lbs and a young 8 point stag weighs 70lbs???? In other words not the deer I shot! His reply was that the van driver must have got them mixed up back at the shop!!!!!! I ask him to explain and he tells me it's difficult to keep tabs on where all the deer come from as they are all thrown into a van and get mixed up!!!! I asked if he was serious...... he was.

    So I say, 'just let me get this right, you have no idea what ground the deer you have in your shop are actually coming from?' He replies, 'No, I do know, they come from several estates in the area', and he begins to rattle off their names. I ask how then does he clarify specifically which estate a particular carcass comes from, when the ones he lifted from my chill were not tagged and written up (as all mine who go to a dealer are), as they were not going into the food chain but to a private individual? Silence...

    I then told him that clearly he is giving me payment for deer that were not even mine confirmed by the weights themselves and the damage he suggested one has, therefore what happens with the trace-ability of the beasts never mind accountability when something goes wrong and the health inspectors turn up to see me when the bad venison has not come from my estate? It was suggested at that point I should call back tomorrow and speak with the boss....

    I know for a fact this is not unique with some game-dealers and can remember many years ago one we used occasionally opening up the side of a large van and telling me to just throw them in, on top of about another 15 lying there from who knows where!

    This in fact makes a mockery of the hunter hygiene side of things in stalking, and worries me somewhat when we are doing our bit yet could still be faced with trying to explain they have the wrong man when something goes wrong. All I have in my favour for this incident is a roll of tags that are clearly used but not having placed one on the carcasses he claims to get from me he in turn could not produce one as proof it's mine, and a friend who was out helping that night who can back up what deer were shot and their weights.

    Do the game dealers who do things properly keep tags as proof for where they uplift deer from should they need to explain something in the future, or are their entries in a book sufficient? It has made me realise just how flawed the system actually is and even when we do our bit we could still find ourselves trying to prove we in fact have nothing to do with a particular carcass...

    Nothing changes!!

    Just about everyone I have met is related to Dick Turpin.

    As for hygiene it makes a mockery of what we as stalkers undertake to make sure the carcase is clean and presentable. I have seen it time and time again where carcases are collected in a van and thrown on top of one another. And as for tagged carcases with the hunters certificate number on it

    Most wouldn't or do not bother. The whole system needs a shake up in my opinion.
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