Safari Club International (SCI) is standing with Texas hunters in supporting Texas House Bill 2213, which is currently on its way to Governor Abbott’s desk for signature. This legislation will allow for the slaughter and processing of legally harvested exotic animals for donation to nonprofit food banks in Texas.
Under current law, only native species can be donated to food banks, even though there are large populations of edible exotic species inhabiting Texas. The Texas Department of State Health Services had given an exemption to exotic species during the COVID-19 pandemic to increase food access to those in need, and making this a permanent law will enable more hunters to give healthy, sustainable food to their communities.
Hunters are extremely generous when it comes to the donation of game meat. Sharing high quality protein with friends, family, and those in need, through programs like Safari Club International Foundation’s own “Sportsmen Against Hunger” and “Hunters for the Hungry”, is a great way for hunters to give back to their local communities. Through these programs, hunters can drop off legally tagged, field-dressed qualifying animals to participating meat processors. The partner processors then prepare the meat for distribution through local food banks. For decades, programs like these have given hunters a meaningful way to give back to their community and has resulted in over 10 million servings of venison distributed to hungry Texans across the state.
The donation of exotic game meat has been a success story during the pandemic, and we applaud the Texas legislature on working to make this commonsense legislation permanent. With the pandemic emergency declaration set to close, it would immediately restrict hunters from donating exotic species. The bill passed the House and Senate nearly unanimously, so we urge Governor Abbott to sign this bill into law as soon as possible. Join us in contacting Governor Abbott today!