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Handling of Large Wild Game

After killing, large wild game must have their stomachs and intestines removed as soon as possible and, if necessary, be bled.

The trained person must carry out an examination of the body, and of any viscera removed, to identify any characteristics that may indicate that the meat presents a health risk. The examination must take place as soon as possible after killing.

Meat of large wild game may be placed on the market only if the body is transported to a game-handling establishment as soon as possible after the examination. The viscera must accompany the body and be identifiable as belonging to a given animal.

If no abnormal characteristics are found during the examination referred to above, no abnormal behaviour was observed before killing, and there is no suspicion of environmental contamination, the trained person must attach to the animal body a numbered declaration stating this. This declaration must also indicate the date, time and place of killing. In this case, the head and the viscera need not accompany the body, except in the case of species susceptible to Trichinosis (porcine animals, solipeds and others), whose head (except for tusks) and diaphragm must accompany the body. However, hunters must comply with any additional requirements imposed in the Member State where hunting takes place, in particular to permit the monitoring of certain residues and substances in accordance with Directive 96/23/EC.

In other circumstances, the head (except for tusks, antlers and horns) and all the viscera except for the stomach and intestines must accompany the body. The trained person who carried out the examination must inform the competent authority of the abnormal characteristics, abnormal behaviour or suspicion of environmental contamination that prevented him or her from making a declaration.

If no trained person is available to carry out the examination in a particular case, the head (except for tusks, antlers and horns) and all the viscera, except for the stomach and the intestines, must accompany the body.

Chilling must begin within a reasonable period of time after killing and achieve a temperature throughout the meat of not more than 7 °C. Where climatic conditions so permit, active chilling is not necessary.

During transport to the game-handling establishment, heaping must be avoided.

Large wild game delivered to a game-handling establishment must be presented to the competent authority for inspection.

In addition, unskinned large wild game may be skinned and placed on the market only if:

  • before skinning, it is stored and handled separately from other food and not frozen;


  • after skinning, it undergoes a final inspection in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 (NO LONGER IN FORCE), Date of end of validity: 13/12/2019; Repealed and replaced by 32017R0625. Latest consolidated version: 01/01/2019.

The rules laid down in Section I, Chapter V of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 apply to the to the cutting and boning of large wild game.