Bill would allow meat donated by hunters - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Bill would allow meat donated by hunters to feed Louisiana's hungry

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Earlier this year, a state health inspector destroyed donated venison at the Shreveport- Bossier Rescue Mission, all because the health regulations did not allow donated meat from hunters to be served there.

But a bill in the state house could change that.

"It's really to clarify the law, to make sure that everyone's on the same page," said one of the bill's sponsors, Senator Sherri Buffington.

She pre-filed Senate Bill 58 which will allow non-profit groups, such as the Shreveport- Bossier Rescue Mission, to serve meats hunters donate to the hungry.

"That would no longer be a prohibited food source, and those donations will always be protected," she said.

"They've even included in the law migratory birds, all quadrupeds, even alligator meat and feral hogs," said Rev. Henry Martin, executive director of the mission.

He is excited about the bill and the financial relief.

"It's a big help to off set some of the expense of purchasing food," he said.

The bill is not the only good thing that comes out of the incident here at the rescue mission at Shreveport. One of the co-founders of Hunters for the Hungry said it has brought awareness to the organization all over the state.

"We were a little sleepy organization... and we were growing steadily every year," said Richard Campbell. "Then next thing we know, it has exploded. The poor and the hungry of Louisiana will be better off.

Senator Buffington's bill will be heard by the Senate's Health and Welfare committee, although a date has not been set.

The department of health and hospitals is also part of the process on this bill. It issued this statement:

"The donation of wild game and fish each year by Louisiana residents to non-profits across the state is a testament to the generosity of our communities. There are, as we've noted before, challenges from a health and safety perspective. Our priority is, and must continue to be, to ensure that public health safeguards are in place to protect all Louisiana residents. DHH will, however, abide by any changes the legislature may make to the sanitary code to include the use of certain meat and fish received for use by non-profits or charitable organizations."


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