Again, government fails the people, this time involving venison

Posted on November 1, 2013

Ron SteffeWith a long held personal obligation to report and reflect on unintelligent actions in regards to the outdoors, I offer you this:

Louisiana State Health Inspectors recently destroyed 1,600 pounds of venison (about an $8,000 value) that hunters of that state had donated to a local homeless shelter.
Apparently, one person at the shelter, the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, complained of being fed venison.

It absurd for someone who is dependent upon the nourishment this shelter provides to complain about the source of protein that is keeping their butt alive. But I find it even more bizarre that state officials would feel the justification to destroy the meat, an act which they accomplished by placing the meat packages in a dumpster, opening it and then covering with bleach so no other animals would be tempted to eat the meat.

What heroes these “health inspectors” are.

The Rev. Henry Martin, executive director of the mission, which provides food and shelter for homeless people in northwest Louisiana, said the organization has been severing donated deer meat for decades without any problems.

“There was no need for this to happen,” he said. “We’ve got hungry people who need meals.”

On that day he said they had about 230 people in their system, an average count. Three meals a day for that number, times 365 days a year -- that’s over 200,000 meals. Martin further explained that the charity needs as much food as it can get, and any loss hurts all.

The Louisiana Department of Health released a statement that state regulations prohibit food establishments from serving hunted deer meat, and that after their inspectors quickly determined that in fact the mission used deer meat, the meat was destroyed.

It never mattered that the meat was processed at a slaughterhouse (Bellevue) that is permitted by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture to prepare and commercially distribute meat from approved farms. No, the venison had to go.

As it seems to be more and more with the mechanism of government officials and their zealous efforts to protect us all, they have not offered any assistance to replace the food taken from the hungry.

I wish I could believe that underlying this action by a state government was a genuine concern for the safety and future benefit for the homeless people of this mission, and the poor and desperate of every other charity that aids with food and shelter, but I cannot.

This entire action reeks of someone in some position of power, who hates hunting and the acts of hunters, no matter if it allows the broken and demoralized to sleep in a warm bed with wholesome food in their stomachs.

Here in Pennsylvania, I hope that our hunters continue to donate their harvested surplus to the charities that look after the needy, and not give an inch to the strange and inane actions of those officials who were chosen to serve the people.

Because ultimately, we are the only valid support the poor can count on.