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Pet food makers eating up wild game meat as demand falls at restaurants

24 Comments
By Naoki Hiraoka

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I think it is better for carnivorous pets to eat deer than humans. The meat is very healthy, but humans are vegetarians.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

@Rodney, each to their own. I'm a proud meat eater.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Rodney - but humans are vegetarians

Does this mean you’ve had your meat eating teeth removed?

The feral and wild animals in Japan create huge problems for the environment and for farmers. It makes good sense to turn them into pet food.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The meat is very healthy, but humans are vegetarians.

Vegan activists are, strangely enough, remarkably coy about explaining why humans have evolved with canine teeth and stereoscopic vision. Perhaps the biological reality that eyes which provide depth of vision and teeth which tear flesh is an awkward one?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Vegan activists are, strangely enough, remarkably coy about explaining why humans have evolved with canine teeth and stereoscopic vision. 

Contrary to popular belief, human canines are not for tearing and ripping meat. Instead, our ancestors used them to fight male rivals for mating rights.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

If wild game meat were marketed to the general public properly, I would probably buy up and consume the entire stock myself!

it is something that is on my radar

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Instead, our ancestors used them to fight male rivals for mating rights.

Whatever. It is still tearing flesh, innit?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Game meat is exceedingly delicious. I would happily eat my share and then some.

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Pet food makers eating up wild game meat as demand falls at restaurants

The reason demand is falling for wild game is for 2 reasons- 1. Its not readily accessible 2. It is prohibitively expensive.

If my local supermarket provided venison and wild boar at the same prices they provide chicken beef and pork I would switch right away. Venison is tastier and healthier than beef and same for boar over pork. Problem is they are not readily available, and when they are, they are ridiculously expensive.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Game is considered rubbish by most hunters. In my area hunters hunt game because farmers don't like wild boar and deer eating their crops, and the game population is rapidly increasing. I lived here in Chiba for many years before I saw any wild animals. Now there are lots of deer and boar. Fields are now surrounded by electric fences.

Generally, Japanese do not eat game and few know how to cook it. They do not know how to cook tough lean meat, which can be delicious when cooked slowly with herbs and wine. Admittedly, skinning and cleaning a dead animal is not fun and not a pleasant job.

So if they don't want to eat game, why do the hunters kill it? Because the city pays them. Here they get ¥6,000 for the tail of a deer or inoshishi and a photograph of it. They are not allowed to sell the meat and can get into trouble for doing so. Meat has to be killed in a slaughterhouse to be sold. Most hunted meat is thrown away, discarded, a complete waste.

The deer in this area are delicious. I have eaten it a couple of times this week. A car hit a small deer, a kyon, in front of my house and left it dying in the middle of the road. I had to finish it off and remove it from the road because no one else would end its suffering. I gave it to a hunter I know, an old man, who butchered it and later gave me some the meat. I did not give it to my cats. I ate it and it was delicious.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Here they get ¥6,000 for the tail of a deer or inoshishi and a photograph of it. They are not allowed to sell the meat and can get into trouble for doing so. Meat has to be killed in a slaughterhouse to be sold. Most hunted meat is thrown away, discarded, a complete waste.

First, a hunter or trapper can get up to 25,000yen+ per dear/boar depending on the prefecture and city.

Second, perhaps your town in Chiba is different or you may not understand the rules, but hunters can bring in their killed animals to the "slaughterhouse" for processing (so they aren't actually slaughtered there). They can even get additional payment for bringing it in.

However, these wild game processing places want the meat fresh, usually within an hour or two from being killed, so not all can be so readily brought in, especially in the mountains areas. So its hard to avoid this "waste".

And besides, its a bit Wild West to let a hunter to self-butcher and then be allowed to sell themself. The regulations on cleanliness, packing, and clean-up at the processors is very high. (My neighbor works at one of these places)

If my local supermarket provided venison and wild boar at the same prices they provide chicken beef and pork I would switch right away. 

As for cost, aside from the difficulty and expense of acquiring the animals, wild game isn't factory farm chicken or CAFO beef. And wild animals also aren't loaded with hormones to inflate their growth, nor is is the meat injected with saltwater to make it bigger (look up "chicken plumping").

You get what you pay for.

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As for cost, aside from the difficulty and expense of acquiring the animals

cost? you just said

First, a hunter or trapper can get up to 25,000yen+ per dear/boar depending on the prefecture and city.

And besides, its a bit Wild West to let a hunter to self-butcher and then be allowed to sell themself.

No its not. there was an article here on JT around 10 years ago explaining how Nagano used to provide a service to hunters to teach them how to clean and prepare venison. MANY Hunters today in N. America know how to do it.

wild game isn't factory farm chicken or CAFO beef.

Well actually it is. Deer farms are all over the world.

New Zealand is the largest supplier of farm-raised venison. As of 2006, New Zealand had approximately 3,500 intensive deer farms, with an estimated stock of 1.7 million deer.

Deer farm - Wikipedia

Japan could EASILY do the same. Instead of wasting their money and resources on the STUPID whale hunt which yields a negative return, Japan could be one of the MAJOR Suppliers of game in the world.

In 2015, Japanese Ministry of the Environment estimated the population at 3,080,000 in Japan, including Hokkaido.

Sika deer - Wikipedia

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

as for wild boar..

As of 2018, wild boars are found in every prefecture except Hokkaidō. The animal’s remarkable recovery has produced new concerns, though, foremost of which is increased incidents of crop destruction as growing herds encroach on farmland. Hunting and capturing animals are still the main methods for keeping the wild boar population in check. In the 1950s and 1960s hunters caught or killed upward of 40,000 animals annually. While the growing boar population has pushed this number up—in 2016, some 610,000 were culled

Wild Boar Boom: Animal Encroachment a Growing Concern for Rural Communities | Nippon.com

Japan could also be a major exporter of Boar meat. They have the numbers and the space.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Nagano used to provide a service to hunters to teach them how to clean and prepare venison. MANY Hunters today in N. America know how to do it.

Seriously? Do you have any concept of how the meat industry for human consumption in a developed country works?

Knowing how to butcher your own animal for your own use is utterly different than processing and packing for retail sale to the public. I won't even begin to explain the concepts of licenses, permits, insurance, animal disease testing, bacterial infection, or even waste disposal. Not to mention storage, packing, processing, and delivery.

Well actually it is. Deer farms are all over the world.

Sorry, I guess I should have said "wild game IN JAPAN isn't factory farm chicken or CAFO beef." (though maybe you can set up shop in Nara...)

And again, as for price, frozen packed shika sold online in Japan ranges about 250yen to 500yen per 100g depending on the cut.

I just checked the US, and online whitetail deer (frozen packed) goes for $12 to $40+ per pound (or $12-40 per 450g, or about 250yen to 900+yen per 100g.) So same price.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Seriously? Do you have any concept of how the meat industry for human consumption in a developed country works?

Well, why don't you go and ask Nagano. Unfortunately, articles here expire so I can't bring it up but you can check it for yourself.

Knowing how to butcher your own animal for your own use is utterly different than processing and packing for retail sale to the public. I won't even begin to explain the concepts of licenses, permits, insurance, animal disease testing, bacterial infection, or even waste disposal. Not to mention storage, packing, processing, and delivery.

My advice to you is to go to Mie- You can find deer meat sold at the local JA place from time to time if you are lucky, and it is not farmed but hunted venison.

Sorry, I guess I should have said "wild game IN JAPAN isn't factory farm chicken or CAFO beef." (though maybe you can set up shop in Nara...)

Probably not. Nara deer are beloved and there are very strict laws in that particular prefecture about hunting them. Next door in Mie.. different story.

And again, as for price, frozen packed shika sold online in Japan ranges about 250yen to 500yen per 100g depending on the cut.

can you please provide a link, cause the only online venison I found was the Meat Guy, and I don't recall it being that cheap.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Well, why don't you go and ask Nagano. Unfortunately, articles here expire so I can't bring it up but you can check it for yourself.

Why? I have family members who hunt and trap, and as I already said, my neighbor works in a game meat processing facility.

Here's a list of all certified game meat producers in Japan with links. Most sell online.

https://www.gibier.or.jp/registration/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So found one article on the group.

Chef-led group aims to make wild game meat part of Japan's food culture - The Mainichi

"I hope to spread venison and wild boar meat so that it can be sold at the supermarket and appear at the dinner table alongside the meat of farm-raised animals," said Norihiko Fujiki, the 45-year-old president of the Nagano Prefecture-based Japan Gibier Promotion Association.

The association has held butchering and cooking workshops all over the country, and the association successfully changed from an NPO to a general incorporated association in March 2017. Currently, the organization is focusing its efforts on drawing up a domestic gibier distribution standard, a set of national rules to make the handling of circulation and trade of game meat operate more smoothly.

Seems the problem they are facing is lack of proper regulations for game as opposed to domestic livestock.

This is where the use of the promotion association's "gibier cars" comes in. The car is actually a 2-ton truck containing a butchering room and a refrigeration room so that game meat can be quickly processed at the site of capture. Use of the truck is making headway in solving the distribution problems in areas that lack butchering facilities nearby.

Very innovative and if adopted with proper legal standards that need to be defined clearly I don't see a problem.

Another problem facing game meat is the lack of a "cut chart" for deer and wild boar, which results in improper butchering of the animal into distinct parts. The creation of such a chart, as well as store labels that list the animal, where, when and how it was captured, the presence of any metals, and other important information is also a large part of the distribution standards being drawn up by the association so that consumers will be able to buy gibier without worries about the journey from capture to the retailer.

The adoption of the standards is set for fiscal 2018, and those facilities already registered and authorized by municipal government systems will be able to be re-certified through a document screening. A representative for the promotion association stated, "If there is even one accident related to the government promoting game meat, then that will be the end of the project. That's why we must spread the correct information and create a sound and fully developed game meat market."

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why? I have family members who hunt and trap, and as I already said, my neighbor works in a game meat processing facility.

Talk to the Japan Gibier Promotion Association.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Thanks for the link. It does actually include the JGPA. Check them out as they might surprise you. Finally someone thinking outside the box.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Talk to the Japan Gibier Promotion Association.

I think you should talk to the Japan Gibier Promotion Association.

I'll talk with my family and my neighbor.

As a matter of fact, with all this gibier talk.... I think I'll take a couple shika loin steaks out of the freezer for dinner tonight!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As a matter of fact, with all this gibier talk.... I think I'll take a couple shika loin steaks out of the freezer for dinner tonight!

well we can agree on that.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And again, as for price, frozen packed shika sold online in Japan ranges about 250yen to 500yen per 100g depending on the cut.

Thanks for that divinda. I'll have to track some down. My only experience of gibier in Japan has been in restaurants I thought were overpriced compared to ones serving beef, pork etc. Such places give the impression that the meat is expensive, when it may not be.

I cook a lot of sous vide, which can make pretty much any lean cut juicy and tender.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If your zodiac is boar or deer, then you shouldn't eat the meat of them, that's what the astrologist says (esp those shaman from the villages)

Try it the fear challenge, you may notice even little tiny cut on your body next day or so that you weren't aware of. That will make you think not to eat it again but you can try again to make sure, however don't do over 3 times if it's happening real.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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