The announcement, in the government report on the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill, has been welcomed by BASC.

“The game licence was introduced as an enforcement tool against poaching in the 1800s. It is now widely regarded as ineffective,” said BASC Scotland’s Nicolle Upton.

“The revenue it generates is insignificant and is not used for conservation or game management. The move will bring Scotland in line with the rest of Great Britain and removes a redundant layer of bureaucracy for game shooters and deer stalkers.”

The licence to sell or deal in game in Scotland is also regarded as unnecessary – the controls on the sale of game were replaced by food hygiene regulations in 2006.

Restrictions on the sale of game outside the shooting seasons, introduced before the advent of refrigeration, will also be removed.

“This will put an end to unnecessary restrictions affecting the sale of game throughout the year,” added Nicolle Upton.

“The popularity of game shows no signs of abating, with independent research showing UK sales predicted to rise by a further 47% to hit £84 million by 2011. These moves will ensure its wider availability.”