A US Senate subcommittee has rejected a South Carolina bid to turn waste products from deer processing into petfood, turning away a bill that would have allowed deer processors to grind up and sell as petfood the parts of the animals they now throw out—organs, bones and other viscera.
The state Department of Natural Resources told the committee that the change could hasten the arrival of wildlife diseases, including chronic wasting disease, from other states. Deer processor Michael Cordray of Cordray's Venison Processing, who initially suggested the bill, said he sees it as a chance to reduce waste and create jobs. According to Cordray, hunters kill more than 200,000 deer a year in South Carolina, and many of those hunters rely on professional processers to remove the meat from the carcasses. Processors could get five to 25 pounds of guts, organs and bones from each deer.
Currently, no other state in the Southeast allows the use of deer processing leftovers for petfood.