Food Law News - UK - 2001

FSA Scotland Press Release (47/01), 4 September 2001

MEAT HGYIENE - Independent Experts Voice Black Market Venison Fears

Consumers are being warned to only buy venison from licensed sources amid concerns that the current ban on exports could flood the Scottish market with game. The advice comes from the Scottish Food Advisory Committee (SFAC), which discussed the potential problem at its meeting in Dumfries today.

Over half of all Scottish venison is sold abroad every year but with a ban on exports following the foot and mouth outbreak there are fears that excess venison will be on sale illegally on the domestic market.

SFAC chairman Sir John Arbuthnott said:
"With so much vension normally exported from Scotland there is a real worry that there will simply be too much venison for the home market this year because of the export ban. Consumers, caterers and restaurants could well find themselves being offered cheap game on the black market. We would strongly advise people not to be tempted by such offers. If they want to be sure venison is being sold legally with due attention to food hygiene they should only buy from registered outlets which they know and trust."

Under the Game Act, individuals and premises which wish to sell game must be registered by their local authority. The Game Act protects consumers by allowing enforcement officers to ensure the meat is handled and sold hygienically.

The Food Standards Agency Scotland has alerted local authorities to the potential problem and will be working with them to ensure consumers are fully protected.

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