Treated and untreated carcases of deer killed for human consumption can now be moved off the premises of origin for movement to the game larder and/or a Game Handling Establishment and from any premises through the usual wholesale/retail premises as necessary to the end consumer. However, they still may be not exported.

Chairman of the British Deer Society, David Kenyon, explained to ST what this means to stalkers: “Previously individuals had been able to shoot deer on land where they were classified as an occupier in groups of no more than three but for the vast majority of stalkers, who need to use the public highway to remove the carcass, this exemption was useless. With the movement ban lifted proper culling activity can be resumed as long as the conditions required in the FMD order are fulfilled. General licenses for the removal of deer carcasses involved in RTA’s have also been issued.”

He continued by praising the stalking fraternity: “Acknowledgement must be given for the responsible manner in which deer managers and stalkers have conducted themselves during this difficult period. The threat of FMD to the wellbeing of both domestic stock and wild deer is serious and the stalking community have acted with the best interests of the countryside in mind.”

Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance has a realistic take on the situation: “At the moment stalkers must adhere to all DEFRA guidance and respect the concerns of local farmers, but we think that the Government must be flexible about lifting them. There should be a review of the restrictions 14 days after the last reported case and as swift as possible return to normal conditions.”

The movement of gamebirds is not affected anywhere in Great Britain but it is recommended that anyone intending to release game within the 3km control zones should consult the local Animal Health Office.