Sir, – Your article 'Head to the butchers for quality venison' is interesting but inaccurate.

The majority of venison consumed in the UK – and Scotland – is home produced. The wild red deer cull accounts for some 2500 tonnes of the venison we eat annually, with roe venison in addition. Some venison is imported from New Zealand, Poland and Ireland, but supply from New Zealand to the UK has dropped by around 25% in the last three years.

However, imported product has enabled venison to be available to consumers all year round, not just in season and UK farmed venison – of which Scottish farmed venison is a valuable component – is building in volume as more deer farms in Scotland come on stream.

Also, Scotland also now has its own dedicated deer abattoir in Fife.

The EU derogation that allows small quantities of game meat to be sold locally, coupled with the venison dealer licence system, should provide a short, safe and traceable supply chain for local venison to be sold into local outlets. Local produce for local shops and lower food miles are to be encouraged.

Moreover, supermarkets have, in several cases, committed to selling UK product where they can source it, before resorting to imports and have been at the forefront in opening up the venison market to consumers UK-wide.

The venison industry as a whole is currently developing a strategic plan for launch later this year and the Scottish Venison Partnership has an application in process for PGI for Scottish Wild Venison.

Already a success story, it is a wonderful, healthy product with immense potential and those in the sector, both wild and farmed, are committed to its future success.

Dick Playfair


Scottish Venison Partnership,

Winton Loan,