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The requirements laid down in Regulation (EC) 852/2004 are supplemented by Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 which lays down specific hygiene requirements that must be implemented by food businesses handling food of animal origin at all stages of the food chain.

Wild game is defined by Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 as “wild ungulates (hoofed animals) and lagomorphs (e.g. rabbits, hares), as well as other land mammals that are hunted for human consumption and are considered to be wild game under the applicable law in the Member State concerned, including mammals living in enclosed territory under conditions of freedom similar to those of wild game and wild birds that are hunted for human consumption”.

Farmed game' is defined as “farmed ratites (e.g. ostrich) and farmed land mammals other than domestic bovine (including bubalus and bison species), porcine, ovine and caprine animals and domestic solipeds (mammal with a single hoof on each foot, e.g. horse)” while ‘Small wild game' means wild game birds and lagomorphs (rabbits, hares) living freely in the wild.

Large wild game' means wild land mammals living freely in the wild that do not fall within the definition of small wild game.

Annex III Section I of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 as amended applies to the production and placing on the market of meat from farmed game such as deer (Cerivdae and Suidae) and sets out the requirements for slaughter houses, cutting plants as well as slaughter hygiene and hygiene during cutting and boning. For further details on Annex III section I see Section on Fresh Meat: Specific Hygiene requirements   

The provisions of Annex III Section II of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 as amended apply to the production and placing on the market of meat from ratites (e.g. ostrich) and sets out the requirements for slaughterhouses, cutting plants as well as slaughter hygiene and hygiene during cutting and boning. For further details on Annex III Section II see section on Poultrymeat: Specific Hygiene requirements

Notwithstanding the above two paragraphs, food business operators may slaughter farmed ratites (e.g. ostrich) and farmed ungulates (hoofed animals) at the place of origin with the authorisation of the competent authority if:

  • the animals cannot be transported, to avoid any risk for the handler or to protect the welfare of the animals;
  • the herd undergoes regular veterinary inspection;
  • the owner of the animals submits a request;
  • the competent authority is informed in advance of the date and time of slaughter of the animals;
  • the holding has procedures for concentrating the animals to allow an ante-mortem inspection of the group to be made;
  • the holding has facilities suitable for the slaughter, bleeding and, where ratites are to be plucked, plucking of the animals;
  • animal welfare requirements are complied with;
  • slaughtered and bled animals are transported to the slaughterhouse hygienically and without undue delay. If transport takes more than two hours, the animals are, if necessary, refrigerated. Evisceration may take place on the spot, under the supervision of the veterinarian;
  • a declaration by the food business operator who reared the animals, stating their identity and indicating any veterinary products or other treatments administered, dates of administration and withdrawal periods, accompanies the slaughtered animals to the slaughterhouse;


  • during transport to the approved establishment, a certificate issued and signed by the official veterinarian or approved veterinarian, attesting to a favourable result of the ante-mortem inspection, correct slaughter and bleeding and the date and time of slaughter, accompanies the slaughtered animals.

Food business operators may also slaughter bison on the farm in accordance with the above in exceptional circumstances.

The legislation requires that where establishments are approved for the slaughter of different animal species or for the handling of carcases of farmed game and wild game, precautions must be taken to prevent cross-contamination by separation either in time or in space of operations carried out on the different species. Separate facilities for the reception and storage of unskinned carcases of farmed game slaughtered at the farm and for wild game must be available.