Wild Scottish Game: 2016 Update

Published: August 2016

D’Artagnan is sad to announce due to changes in USDA regulations, the import and sale of Wild Scottish Game Birds and Hare in the U.S. is no longer possible.

For the last 30 years, we have partnered with a couple of different Clans from the Highlands to offer U.S. chefs and home cooks Wild Scottish Grouse, Wild Scottish Pheasant, Wild Scottish Wood Pigeon, Wild Scottish Red-Legged Partridge and Wild Scottish Hare that are hunted during the season.

However, recent changes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) now prohibit the sale of “post-mortem” inspected animals (like our Scottish Game/Hare) where the inspection occurs AFTER the animal has been killed/processed. Under the new regulations, our Scottish Game/Hare can not be sold in the U.S. because the animals did not have an “ante-mortem” inspection – where the USDA inspectors are able to see/inspect the LIVE animal BEFORE it is killed/processed. As our Scottish Game/Hare are hunted in the wild, having USDA inspectors pre-examine animals during the hunt is simply not possible.

Frankly, D’Artagnan feels this new regulation is overkill. Scots are highly protective of the moorland area habitat. They regulate the hunts, raise game birds in hatcheries and release them in early spring, when necessary, to protect biodiversity. These animals feed themselves in the wild with seeds, flowers of heather, berries, wild oats and sometimes insects. In the last 30 years at D’Artagnan, we had never encountered any issue questioning the wholesomeness of this game. Moreover, there has always been a thorough inspection at the processing place where the birds are plucked and dressed.

We at D’Artagnan do not agree with the USDA’s decision to prohibit “post-mortem” inspections. We believe the decision is antiquated and wrong. We tried lobbying this issue, but were unsuccessful in stopping the new regulations.