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February 26, 2013

Health Dept.: Homeless Can’t Eat Deer Meat

Hunters across Louisiana are outraged after state health officials ordered a rescue mission to destroy $8,000 worth of deer meat because venison is not allowed to be served in homeless shelters.

The Dept. of Health and Hospitals ordered the staff at the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission to throw 1,600 pounds of donated venison in garbage bins – and then ordered then to douse the meat with Clorox – so other animals would not eat the meat.
“Deer meat is not permitted to be served in a shelter, restaurant or any other public eating establishment in Louisiana,” said a Health Dept. official in an email to Fox News. “While we applaud the good intentions of the hunters who donated this meat, we must protect the people who eat at the Rescue Mission, and we cannot allow a potentially serious health threat to endanger the public.”
That statement set off a firestorm among hunters and lawmakers who called it outrageous and insulting.
“That’s a mild understatement,” said Richard Campbell, one of the founders of Hunters for the Hungry, a group that has been donating wild game to shelters since 1993. “Hunters are going nuts over it. It’s created an outrage across our state and even over into Mississippi.”
The controversy started when someone being fed at the rescue mission complained about being fed deer meat.
Henry Martin, executive director of the mission, told Fox News they’ve been serving deer meat for years – from deer chili to deer spaghetti.
“This was really good meat,” he said. “It’s high in protein and low in cholesterol. It’s very healthy.”
Martin said he was extremely bothered by the way state health inspectors handled the situation.
“You would think we would have due process,” he said. “But they meant to destroy the meat – that’s for sure.”
The mission’s chef asked if they could at least return the meat to the processing plant – but the state officials said no.
“They actually took it out to the dumpsters, split the packages open and poured Clorox on it,” Martin told Fox News.
He said the rescue mission serves 200,000 meals a year – without a single dime of assistance from the state or federal governments. As a result of the confiscation, he said as many as 3,200 meals were lost.
“It seems like this was a senseless act,” he said. “I don’t think hungry people who come to our mission appreciate the fact they could have been eating some really good venison and as it is now – no one can eat it.”
The Health Dept. defended their actions and said they had to pour Clorox on the meat as an “extra precaution so that animals would not eat it from the dumpster and become sick or die.”
“This is a process called ‘denaturing,’” they stated.
Campbell said the venison comes from deer management programs – where hunters have to kill a lot of deer.
“We ask our hunters once they fill up their own freezers to give the extra to the needy,” he said.
Once the deer is donated, a local processing plant prepares the meat for the shelters.
And hunters in the Sportsman’s Paradise have always responded to the call – including State Rep. Jeff Thompson.
“As a hunter and somebody who has personally donated deer to this program, I’m outraged and very concerned,” he told Fox News. “You hear about these stories anywhere and it’s a concern – but when it happens in your own backyard it’s insulting.”
Thompson said he is meeting with the heads of state agencies as well as state lawmakers to make sure the rules are changed.
“We take pride in helping our neighbors and to see thousands of dollars worth of meat that would help the hungry go to waste is absolutely disturbing to me,” he said.
Thompson said at the very least the meat should have been returned to those who donated it.
“We want to make sure the generosity of hunters and processors are honored and the hungry are provided with the food they are very much in need of,” the lawmaker added.


2 years 3 months ago

There would be only one reason for that. Because it's donated and free. The Gov hates when people give free food away. They want total control. I'm a hunter and there is no meat better than venison. It's better for people and way more nutritous. Has no antibiotics or hormones in it. Maybe that is why they can't stand it.

2 years 3 months ago

Wonderful example of government waste and you are so right...that is a free food supply...are they going to cut that off also?

2 years 3 months ago

What a waste. Venison is some of the most environmentally friendly meat you can eat. Government regulations also force fishermen to discard thousands of tons of seafood every year that could be used to feed the hungry. I bet those bureaucrats would not throw away any GE frankenfood donated by Monsanto. Big brother would give their corporate cohorts public praise and another tax break.

2 years 3 months ago

Great point about the fishing industry also....and that happens daily!

2 years 3 months ago

I am using the freefish7 radio show to give my public comments for the upcoming South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting. We usually only get three minutes. Now I have thirty to explain the waste and how we can greatly reduce it. I'll post a link to the comments on here tomorrow.

2 years 3 months ago

Back during WWII My dad's family lived in Canada. My Dad's mom has old pics of the Canadian Gov dumping tons of truck full of dump trucks of fresh produce in the St. Lawrence river. SHe worked nearby in a manufacturing plant. Why do you ask? Because the Gov could CONTROL the price of food.

Same thing is happening here

2 years 3 months ago

Having worked in the field years ago, I know in my state that though that was the protocol, the field inspectors should have bumped this up the their supervisors in the office before taking such drastic action. This gives the agency a black eye and brings uncomplimentary attention to the food Safety Inspection Program. Isn't BigGov. great. Vote Democrat! And this is what you get.

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2 years 3 months ago

Thanks William N for that insight. Pouring bleach over the meat was a truly nasty, revengeful thing to do, by nasty revengeful, government employees. That shows you the power these minions think they have....they are so empowered by this rotten government of ours....and it all starts at the top and trickles on down.

2 years 3 months ago
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