Deer returns

We contact registered venison dealers for venison purchases and sales returns, and landowners and occupiers for deer cull returns.

Venison dealer returns

Registered venison dealers must submit venison dealer returns to NatureScot. You should record all purchases and sales of venison made during the year from 1 April to 31 March.

Our National Operations Unit contacts all registered venison dealers to request returns information. You may be asked to submit your records to us annually or monthly, by post or by email.

You are required to:

  • keep records for three years
  • present records for inspection by NatureScot or a police officer on request
  • allow NatureScot or a police officer to make copies of your records

To sell venison, you must be registered as a venison dealer and hold a venison dealer licence from your local authority.

Find out more about the venison dealer licence on the GOV.UK website.

Statutory annual cull returns

All landowners and occupiers asked to do so must provide information about all of the deer they have shot that year.

Each April, we write to request these details along with a form to complete. You must return your completed form within 36 days.

Your annual cull return should record for each individual landholding the number and sex of each species of deer culled from 1 April to 31 March.

Contact us if you cull deer in Scotland and haven’t previously received a letter requesting an annual cull return.

How to submit returns

An online service for returns is currently in development and due to be launched soon. Authorisation holders and property owners are advised to wait until the new service is available before submitting 2023-2024 returns to NatureScot.


National Operations Unit
Telephone: 01463 725 364
Email: [email protected]

National Operations Unit
Great Glen House
Leachkin Road

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