The order of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals that $8000 worth of venison donated by local hunters to a homeless shelter must be destroyed has caused outrage.
In a humanitarian act, hunters from the organisation Hunters for the Hungry donated the meat to the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission to help feed the homeless in these difficult times.
However, the Department ordered that the meat be disposed of in the shelter’s bins, and covered in Clorox so other animals will not eat the meat. They said that the meat is “not permitted to be served in a shelter, restaurant, or any other eating establishment in Louisiana”.
Henry Martin, executive director of the mission, told Fox News they’ve been serving deer meat for years – from deer chilli to deer spaghetti. “This was really good meat,” he said. “It’s high in protein and low in cholesterol. It’s very healthy.”
The rescue mission serves 200,000 meals a year without any state assistance. Martin estimates that 3200 meals have been lost due to the Health Department’s orders.
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.”
He went on to say that the deer come from management programmes, where hunters are encouraged to donate meat to local charities when they have enough for their own use. “We take pride in helping our neighbours and to see thousands of dollars’ worth of meat that would help the hungry go to waste is absolutely disturbing to me,” he said.
When hunters donate meat, it is taken to a licensed processing plant before being given to the shelter.
In bringing this waste and outrage to the notice of lawmakers in the state, Campbell is hoping that the rules will change, and has enlisted the support of State Republican Jeff Thompson, who is also a member of the hunting group.