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Louisiana Health Department Forces Homeless Shelter to Destroy $8,000 in Donated Deer Meat

Scott Olson, Getty Images

The state of Louisiana’s Health Department has created itself quite the public relations controversy after it forced a Shreveport, La., homeless shelter to dispose of and destroy more than 1,600 pounds of deer meet that was donated by a local hunters’ group.

According to KTBS in Shreveport, a complaint was filed last month because venison was being served at the homeless shelter. An inspector from the health department visited the shelter and told the shelter the meat could not be served and had to be destroyed.

The meat, worth more than $8,000, was donated by a group called Hunters for the Hungry — an organization not recognized by the state’s health department, according to KTBS.

“Although the meat was processed at a slaughterhouse that is permitted by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture to prepare and commercially distribute meat obtained from approved farms, deer are not an approved meat source to be distributed commercially,” the health department said on its Facebook page. “And because hunters brought the deer to the slaughterhouse, there is no way to verify how the deer were killed, prepared or stored.”

The Rev. Henry Martin, director of the Shreveport-Bossier Mission, said his organization operates solely on donations and receives no government funding. He said all the meat was thrown into a dumpster and Clorox bleach was poured on it to keep animals from eating it.

So, the question has to be asked: Where do you stand on this? Was the health department doing what was legally best? Or should they have left it alone?

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