Kentucky Passes Law Protecting Venison Donations
Senate Bill 55
AN ACT relating to the donation of game meat
Create a new section of KRS Chapter 217 to define "not-for-profit organization" "take" and "wildlife"; prohibit state and local government entities from restricting the donation of game meat to or from not-for-profit organizations for the purpose of free meal distribution; require that the game meat be from wildlife that was taken in the Commonwealth, properly field dressed and processed, and apparently disease-free and unspoiled.
In March of this year, Kentucky's Governor Steve Beshear signed this bill into law, effectively exempting game meat donations to homeless shelters and food banks from state and local government oversight.
Ivan, and others with the Kentucky chapter of Hunters for the Hungry, studied the new Louisiana law and pressed for a similar bill to be passed in Kentucky. With the help of State Senator Robin Webb and the support of Sherry Maddox with Safari Club International, that bill was presented in 2014 and passed this year.
Because of the bill, organizations like Hunters for the Hungry will be able to continue supplying much needed meat to food banks and homeless shelters throughout the state. In 2014 alone, the Kentucky Chapter donated enough venison to serve nearly half a million meals. According to Schell, often, the donated venison is the only protein available to these places, without it, the meals they serve would be meatless. This bill protects our ability to continue to donate this desperately needed protein.
How about your state? Is there an active program to allow hunters to donate extra venison to people in need? Do you think more states should pass similar laws protecting these organizations and the venison they provide?