VENISON sold from deer shot in Scotland's nationally-owned forests has raised almost £5 million for the public purse, it was revealed yesterday.

Culls of deer on Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) land produces around 26,000 high-quality deer carcasses every year which are sold to meat dealers, with a portion ending up in Europe.

The demand for venison has proved to be a lucrative source of income for FCS, with the price charged for the meat going up 50% in three years.

Loading article content

In the last four years, Scottish venison has sold for £4.84m with last year's cull bringing in £1.52m compared to £991,000 in 2009.

FCS is responsible for around 9%of Scotland's land area, with vast areas of the country under its protection.

Around 30,000 deer are now culled annually on the national forest estate.