Game meat

Grocery stores in SA could be adding more game meat options to their shelves, thanks to a new law. Image via Unsplash

Retail stores to offer more game meat — thanks to new SA laws

Woolworths, Shoprite and Checkers are looking to develop their game meat options as new laws could formalise the game meat industry in SA.

Game meat

Grocery stores in SA could be adding more game meat options to their shelves, thanks to a new law. Image via Unsplash

More “wild” or game meat options could be made available to South Africans on the shelves of grocery stores such as Woolworths, Shoprite and Checkers. This is due to the Game Meat Strategy for South Africa that was drafted by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment in July this year.

In a gazette on Wednesday 14 September, the department revealed that it is extending the deadline date for comments on the Game Meat Strategy, saying the strategy will now be open for comment until 26 September 2022.


According to the department, the most commonly produced and consumed game meat in South Africa includes kudu, wildebeest, impala and springbok. While ostrich is considered wild meat, the department explained that it is mostly produced through normal livestock farming methods.

Unlike meat from domestic animals which are raised on a farm under controlled circumstances, wild meat is the meat of animals and birds that are traditionally hunted for sport or food.

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Minister of Forestry and Fisheries and Environmental Affairs, Barbara Creecy, said that the new law is to transform the game meat industry in South Africa so that it contributes to food security and sustainable socio-economic growth.

“Key to taking the new strategy forward will be to harness their experience and expertise. New private sector investments will be needed, and partnerships and collaborations will be essential, meaningful, and with buy-in from all stakeholders,” said Creecy.

In addition, the goal is to grow job opportunities in the game meat sector by 10% per annum by 2030 and shift from an informal by-product of hunting to commercial meat production, processing and marketing industry with 30 large production enterprises, five large harvesting enterprises, and 10 large processing enterprises by 2030.

“There are large areas of community-owned land that are suitable for plains game, and which provide an opportunity for community-based enterprises to drive rural socio-economic development. There are also high barriers to entry, which would need to be addressed,” the minister said.


As per Business Tech, Woolworths said that it is looking to further develop its game meat choices as it already offers venison, ostrich and biltong from various game species, which is “big business” for the group.

Meanwhile, Shoprite and Checkers said they will focus more on wild meat options for sausages, burgers and minced meat because they are healthier.

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The strategy is, however, not welcomed by animal activist groups.

IOL reports that earlier this month, animal welfare organisation, FOUR PAWS in South Africa, said that they are worried that some of the proposals of the Game Meat Strategy are contradictory to the recently published White Paper on Conservation and the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity.

“These are two deeply conflicting trajectories. There is a distinct lack of inclusion in the proposals of the Draft Game Meat Strategy of principles of animal sentience, welfare, and wellbeing as proposed in the Department’s own Draft White Paper on Conservation and the Sustainable Use of Biodiversity,” Director of FOUR PAWS in South Africa, Fiona Miles, was quoted as saying.