At British Game Assurance, we are keen to clarify the standards regarding the disposal of game that is unfit for consumption or contaminated. Disposing of game is always a high-profile topic and is at the forefront of our scheme. Any BGA assured shoot who has passed an inspection, will be able to prove that they are disposing of their unfit game, in a legal and appropriate manner, by complying with our standards.
All assured shoots should have a collection document or invoice to demonstrate that any game classed as unfit for human consumption was collected by a fallen stock collector registered with the National Fallen Stock Company or was sent to an incinerator which is approved by the APHA and licensed as an Approved and Registered Animal By-Products Premises. These documents must be kept for at least two years, proving that assurance is a long-term method of safeguarding our shoots. Burial of any unfit carcass is only permitted in ‘remote’ areas of Scotland as designated by the Scottish Government. In these cases, the site must be registered and approved by the appropriate regulatory authorities and any BGA assured shoot using this method must prove this at any time.
BGA assured shoots can demonstrate that no carcasses unfit for human consumption are disposed of by any other method.
Whether you shoot wild game only for your own private consumption, give the game away to guns, beaters, family and friends or run a commercial shoot that provides its guns with bird in feather or breasted, the laws around game disposal are the same and will apply to you.
Often, when managing a shoot of any size, there is confusion on the rules around what to do with game that is considered unfit for consumption, for example those that have been breasted. The laws on disposal apply equally to gamekeepers who rear game birds for their own shoots, as to the biggest game farms.
Animal By-Products Regulations define the nature of animal by-products and the management of them. On rare occasions a bird may be found ‘that is suspected of being infected with disease that humans or animals could contract’. This is classified as ‘Cat 1’ waste, and specific rules cover its disposal. In addition, in cases like this, the vet and APHA should be notified.
Most waste from shoots is classified at ‘Cat 3’ – ‘products or food of animal origin originally meant for human consumption, but withdrawn for commercial reasons, not because it’s unfit to eat.’ This includes breasted birds.
Game awaiting incineration or disposal must be stored securely. While awaiting disposal, they must be stored in leak proof containers, which are either locked, or stored in a locked building. This could Include use of chest freezers to store game until there Is adequate quantity to dispose of by other means. All BGA assured shoots are able to demonstrate correct waste storage and this is assessed through inspection.
The bottom line is, all shot birds must be processed for human consumption, unless they are unfit. All operating shoots must ensure that they adhere to the requirements of the standards already in place. By following the standards, and being assured, shoots can be sure that the waste is being disposed of correctly.
For more information on the correct disposal of game, please visit our website www.britishgameassurance.co.uk/correct-game-disposal/ or for further guidance, visit Gov.UK on www.gov.uk/guidance/fallen-stock.
There is also advice available at the NFSCo website or call the NFSCo Helpline on 01335 32001.
If you would like to make your own arrangements, you should refer to the list of approved/registered animal by-products premises.
Any business can find where their local environmental health team is at https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council. Food Registration is currently with every local authority (District, Metropolitan and Unitary) but in the very near future will transfer to a central FSA database. Read the full FSA food guidelines here