Wild venison sector examines carbon footprint

SCOTLAND’S wild venison sector has pledged to measure and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to help tackle climate change.

Companies and organisations involved in shooting and processing deer meat have signed a “statement of intent” (SOI).

The SOI identifies greenhouse gas emission “hot spots” within the sector and what can be reduce to reduce them.

Hotspots on estates include the use of vehicles, waste disposal, visitors’ carbon footprints, and methane emissions from deer.

Venison processors’ hotspots include fuel, packaging, refrigeration, and transport.

Alan McDonnell, conservation manager at Trees for Life and Scottish Environment LINK’s representative on the Scottish wild venison carbon group, said: “Everyone involved in deer management wants to see the wild venison sector thrive.

“This SOI shows the breadth of commitment to producing this high-quality product in a truly sustainable way for climate and nature alike.”

Pete Moore, wildlife resource project officer at NatureScot, the public body known previously as Scottish Natural Heritage, added: “It’s great to see the stakeholders in the venison sector setting out a plan to move the industry towards net zero.

“Deer management is necessary to help tackle biodiversity loss, and the venison sector intends to make wild venison – a local and healthy source of protein – an even more attractive and sustainable food source.”

Organisations that have signed the SOI include the Association of Deer Management Groups, British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC)  Scotland, Lowland Deer Network Scotland, Scottish Environment LINK, Scottish Quality Wild Venison, and NatureScot.

Venison processors Ardgay Game and Highland Game have also signed the statement, copies of which will be available at the Scottish Game Fair, which begins tomorrow at Scone Palace.

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages.

Plus, check out the recipes from Cafe Cuil on Skye in the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.