Scots are being warned to cautious if they are offered venison away from shops.
The caution comes following a reported increase in ‘doorstep sales’ and giving away of venison.
The Scottish Venison Association has issued a statement, warning against buying the meat.
A spokesman said: ‘However well meaning, the giving away or selling of any wild game meat outside of the hunter’s exemption “to family and friends for private consumption on an occasional basis”, or without the necessary, required documentation, is illegal and poses another health risk over and above the significant challenge of Covid-19.
‘This includes gifting of venison to individuals or organisations on “charitable” grounds.
‘Venison must only be sold and purchased through legitimate channels and through registered food businesses (in Scotland holding a current Venison Dealer Licence and relevant food business certification).
‘If you are selling or giving venison away without such necessary consents you will probably be breaking the law as well as risking the integrity of the venison food chain.
‘To the stalker/supplier – don’t do it. To the consumer/buyer/recipient – don’t buy it or accept it.’
A comprehensive guide to the legislation and regulatory requirements for the supply of venison in Scotland to the public, prepared by BDS/Lowland Deer Network Scotland is available on the SVA website.