Food Safety

Contamination of Wild Shot Grouse

Request

1.  Does the Food Standards Agency regularly check grouse carcasses for this [Flubendazole] or and other chemicals ?

2.  Is the Agency aware of this practise on shooting estates?

3.  Another concern is that if lead shot is still in the carcass after preparation for sale, is that an issue?

4.  Could you tell me how you check carcasses of grouse that are ingesting chemical substances?

Please see our response to Q1 - FSS suggests that you contact VMD who undertake the monitoring programme - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/veterinary-medicines-directorate

5.  Could you also tell how many grouse are check for the above and if it covers all of Scotland?

Please see our response to Q1 – you may wish to contact the VMD for information.

Response

1.  Does the Food Standards Agency regularly check grouse carcasses for this [Flubendazole] or and other chemicals ?

No, FSS does not routinely monitor for veterinary medicine residues.  Responsibility for residue monitoring in the UK rests with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) who operate a statutory annual programme on a risk basis.  If a non-compliance or illegal use were detected, VMD would inform FSS (and FSA) and we would carry out a food risk assessment.  To date this has not occurred for grouse for Flubenzadole or any other veterinary medicine.

2.  Is the Agency aware of this practise on shooting estates?

Yes, FSS is aware of the use of medicated grits on grouse moors.

3.  Another concern is that if lead shot is still in the carcass after preparation for sale , is that an issue?

FSS is aware that lead can be a safety issue in food, including lead-shot game such as grouse, and its consumption should be minimised.  In 2012, the previous Scottish food safety authority (the Food Standards Agency in Scotland), carried out a risk assessment of high-level consumers of lead-shot wild-game in Scotland - http://www.foodstandards.gov.scot/publications-and-research/habits-and-behaviours-of-high-level-consumers-of-lead-shot-wild-game-meat-i

This notes that ‘ there is a tendency to try to remove as much lead shot as possible prior to any cooking or preparation’ and the report formed the basis of advice for consumers of lead-shot game which is posted on the FSA website - https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/lead-shot-game

4.  Could you tell me how you check carcasses of grouse that are ingesting chemical substances?

Please see our response to Q1 - FSS suggests that you contact VMD who undertake the monitoring programme - https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/veterinary-medicines-directorate

5.  Could you also tell how many grouse are check for the above and if it covers all of Scotland?

Please see our response to Q1 – you may wish to contact the VMD for information.

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