Game: Types and Composition Chapter uri icon


  • In a global sense, game refers to wild animals and birds, with the term ‘game’ being used for culinary purposes to describe all birds and animals that are hunted for food. In the European Union (EU), wild game is defined in the EU Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004 as being “wild ungulates and lagomorphs, as well as other land mammals that are hunted for human consumption and are considered to be wild game under the applicable law in the Member State concerned, including mammals living in enclosed territory under conditions of freedom similar to those of wild game, and wild birds that are hunted for human consumption.” The same legislation also defines ‘small wild game’ as being wild game birds and lagomorphs (rabbits and hares) living free in the wild and ‘large wild animals’ as land mammals, living free in the wild that do not fall within the small wild game definition. In the United States, wild game refers to wild land mammals (including those living within an enclosed area under conditions of freedom) that are hunted and wild birds. Large native game animals in the United States include antelope, buffalo, caribou, deer, elk, moose, and reindeer, while game birds include wild turkeys, wild geese, wild ducks, grouse, quail, pheasant, and other nondomesticated species of fowl.

publication date

  • 2016