Safe Handling of Wild Game Certification

Safe Handling of Wild Game Certification


Safe Handling of Large Game Meat – DVD Trailer from Farm TV on Vimeo.
Food Safety Authority of Ireland Link –

The EU has introduced Regulation (EC)853(2004) which stipulates that hunters must be trained so that they are qualified to inspect game before it enters the food chain. Member States are obliged to put in place a trained hunter qualification process to meet this requirement. The purpose is to enforce traceability and hygienic practices in the production of wild game meat for public consumption. The Regulation applies to all game – fur and feather; large and small. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland is the statutory body with responsibility for oversight of this. The Principles of the Safe Handling of Wild Game Meat for Entry into the Food Chain Qualification is a course delivered by NARGC and accredited by City & Guilds which meets the requirements of the Regulation. It deals with all stages of the production of game meat for human consumption from ante to post mortem. The syllabus covers normal anatomy of animals and birds; field handling and hygienic transport; large and small carcase handling and inspection, including abnormalities of organs and diseases; actions to be taken on disease detection; carcase inspection demonstration; legal requirements; record keeping; veterinary supervision and involvement; factors affecting quality of game meat; larder design, equipment and hygiene.

The assessment will be carried out independently by City & Guilds who will award a certificate to those who successfully complete the examination. Only those hunters who have qualified may sign the statutory declaration which is required for wild game meat destined for human consumption.

Country sports such as game shooting and deer stalking are popular in Ireland, but many of those involved do not feel confident in handling shot game, so that in preparing the meat they can be sure that it will taste good and will be presented in a hygienic way. The purpose of this course is to educate sportsmen about the species that are hunted, recognition of disease processes in both live and dead animals, handling and transport of carcases in the field and finally butchery and preparation for the table. Sale of game meat products, particularly venison, is growing. Game is low in price, low in cholesterol and a very healthy meat.

European Regulation 853 (2004) stipulates the training required by hunters so that they will be qualified to inspect game before it enters the food chain. To attain trained hunter status, candidates will need to attend an approved course with independent assessment which will cover the anatomy, physiology and behaviour of wild game, procedures for hygienic handling, transport and evisceration after killing and relevant legislation. Such a course and subsequent examination needs to be approved by the relevant authority.  In the case of the Republic of Ireland, this responsibility lies with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI).  The NARGC/City & Guilds course “Certificate in the Principles of the Safe Handling of Wild Game Meat” for entry into the food chain (0230-01) is currently the only course approved by the FSAI under the EU Regulation.  City & Guilds are the independent assessors.

Why do this course?

  • To better understand how to prepare game meat hygienically for personal use and for entry into the food chain.
  • The Trained Hunter requirement is compulsory for game meat offered for sale into the food chain under European Union Regulation (EC) 853/2004, as in all EU countries.  Any game supplied to a Game Handling Establishment will have to be inspected and certified in such a way before delivery.

What is involved?

  • FSAI require 30 hours training.
  • Credits for 22 hours relate to the reading of the manual, ‘Safe Handling of Wild Game Meat’.  It is important that candidates are fully familiar with the contents of the manual before attending the course.  On the day of the course an open book examination will assess knowledge of the manual.
  • 8 hours credit for attendance at this approved course.
  • At the end of the day a multiple choice examination will be supervised by a City & Guilds approved invigilator.  Candidates must attain 40 out of 50 questions correct (an 80% pass rate).
  • Successful candidates will be awarded a “Certificate in the Principles of the Safe Handling of Wild Game Meat for Entry into the Food Chain” (C&G Course 0230-01).
  • Those attaining the certificate will be awarded Trained Hunter status and a Registration Number by City & Guilds.


  • Certificate in the principles of the safe handling of wild game meat for entry into the food chain.
  • City & Guilds course number (0230-01).

Where is the course and assessment held?

  • The course and assessment is held in a Suitable Central Location.

What is the programme on the day of the assessment?

  • Registration from 8.30am.
  • Course start time 9.00 am sharp.
  • Identification of Game Species.
  • Ante Mortem Examination.
  • Field Handling and Transportation.
  • Evisceration and Carcase Inspection.
  • Small Game Carcase Inspection.
  • Large Game Carcase Inspection.
  • Notifiable Diseases.
  • Legal Requirements and Record Keeping.
  • Administration of Veterinary Medicines.
  • Game Larder Hygiene.


Please note the training day will be informal with plenty of time to ask questions.  There will be plenty of breaks throughout the day and there will be a break before the examination.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Open Book Examination:

Open book examination assesses knowledge of the manual. 

What is the cost and what is included in the cost?

Course and assessment:

The cost of the course and assessment is €175.00 for NARGC Members (€200.00 for non-members).


  • Cost of independent assessors.
  • Cost of Independent invigilators.
  • Cost of City & Guilds certification and registration.
  • Cost of instructor/s.
  • Course and assessment centre costs.
  • Lunch for participants.
  • Tea and coffee.


The cost of the 160 page full colour course manual is separate at €25.00 plus €5.50 for p&p.

 What are the learning outcomes?

  • Understand the anatomy, behaviour and pathology of wild game.
  • Understand how to control the production of game meat for human consumption.
  • Understand the production of wild game after it has been submitted to an approved game meat establishment.
  • Understand the legislative, administrative and hygienic conditions relevant to placing wild game on the market.
  • Understand the importance of hygienic maintenance of storage facilities and equipment.
  • Know the legal requirements on maintaining records.

How do I register for the course and assessment?

To register for the course and assessment and/or purchase the course handbook, simply contact the NARGC Office on 057 8624927. The Course dates will be advised to applicants and published on the NARGC web site.

Unit 1
O’Connell House Studios
O’Connell Square
Co Laois


Next Course Dates:- 16th June 2018

NB: If you are unemployed and currently seeking work in this area contact your  local FAS / DSP Office to check if you are eligible for a grant for this course.

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