Venison dealer licence

Please note that at the moment, council offices are closed and officers are working from home due to coronavirus. There may be a delay in processing paper application. Find out more about changes to licensing services.

Anyone who sells, offers or exposes for sale, or has in his possession, transports or causes to be transported for the purpose of sale at any premises, any venison requires to hold a venison dealer licence. Venison means the carcass or any edible part of the carcass, of a deer, and deer means deer of any species, including farmed deer.

When granted, the licence is valid for 3 years.


You must be a fit and proper person and not be disqualified from holding a licence. You also must comply with any conditions (pdf 38 kb) attached to the licence:

Keeping records

You must keep a record of your transactions and any relevant documents (eg receipts, invoices) for 3 years.

You need to keep the record using a prescribed format (pdf 123 kb) and it must contain:

  • when you bought or received it
  • name and address of the person you got it from
  • how many carcasses and what sex they are
  • species of deer, if it’s possible to identify it

Producing records for inspection

You must produce your records if you are asked by the police or anyone authorised in writing by the council. This includes any documents needed to verify your records.

Venison killed illegally

You must not buy, sell or exchange any venison which you know, or have reason to believe, has been killed illegally. If you do, you could be fined or sent to prison for up to 2 years.

Fines and penalties

You must allow the police to search your vehicle or premises if they have reasonable grounds to suspect an offence has been committed. If you don’t, you could be disqualified from holding a licence for a set period of time, fined up to £2,500, or imprisoned for 3 months.

Telling us about any changes

You must notify us in writing of any changes to the details of the licence holder. This information should be submitted, in writing, within one month of the changes taking place.

If the need for the licence becomes redundant, you should surrender the licence to us as soon as possible.

Application fee

The fee for venison dealer licence is £30. The fee is non-refundable.

You can pay by either:

Unfortunately we are unable to accept payment by BACs, cheques or cash.

The fee must be paid at the same time the application for the licence is lodged with us. The application will not be considered competent until the fee is paid.

How to apply

You can apply for venison dealer licence to be granted or renewed in paper or online.

Apply in paper

To apply in paper complete venison dealer licence application form (pdf 231KB). Please send your competed form to:

Aberdeenshire Council
Legal and People
Arduthie Road
AB39 2DQ

Apply online

You can apply for a venison dealer licence onlinehowever we may request additional information to supplement the Scottish system.

Application process

Full approval will not be granted until the required information and documentation has been provided, examined and deemed satisfactory, and the application has been fully processed.

You are not permitted to operate the business of dealing in venison until such time as a venison dealer licence has been issued to you.

We will send a copy of your application to Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and NatureScot.

In the absence of objections or adverse representations, your licence will be issued to you under delegated authority. Where objections or adverse representations are made, your application will be referred to the appropriate Committee of Aberdeenshire Council for consideration.

A copy of any licence issued will be sent to our consultees.

We will keep a register of applications in which we will enter the details of the receipt of each application, our final decision and reasons for the decision, the details of the terms of each licence granted and a note of any suspension, variation of the terms, or surrender, of a licence. The register must be available for inspection by any member of the public at reasonable times and places and any member of the public must be permitted to make a copy of it.

We must give a copy of any venison dealer licence granted to the deer managers section of NatureScot.