300 pounds of venison seized from Wisconsin processor

spectr17

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Posted Jan. 14, 2002

Officials raid meat plant, seize venison meant for needy families


The Associated Press

SPRING GREEN, WI — State officials raided a meat processing plant and seized about 300 pounds of ground venison that the operators had planned to give to local food pantries for the needy.

Bill and Sandy Prem, of Prem Meats, said Friday that inspectors came to their plant Jan. 4 and seized the meat that hunters who killed the deer didn’t want.

“Here you are trying to give to the food pantry, you’re working your (tail) off, and they come and confiscate it,” Bill Prem said.

Sandy Prem, who was present during the raid, said the representatives of the Department of Natural Resources told her it was illegal for her to give away deer.

“I told him that there’s a family with eight children who need the food, that we gave it to last year,” Sandy Prem said. “He said it’s not our deer to give away, it’s the hunters’.”

Bill Prem said some hunters paid to have their deer processed but only wanted certain cuts and directed him to donate the “trim” to charity.

Prem said he thought he could donate the ground venison and packed it in half-pound packages because a food pantry representative told him elderly people wanted the small amounts.

Tom Solin, chief of special operations in the DNR’s law enforcement bureau, confirmed that he was present when meat was seized but said he couldn’t comment directly on the case.

No charges or citations have been issued, but Solin confirmed it is illegal for processors to give venison away.

“A processor can’t run his own venison (charity) program, that is uninspected meat,” Solin said. He said a state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection agent also was present for the raid.

Solin said state law allows processors to donate inspected meat under the Deer 2001 Program.

Prem Meats participated in that program, in which the hunter donates the entire deer, the state pays the processor about $60 for butchering, and the meat is donated to food pantries.

Sandy Prem said she was told that while hunters can donate the entire deer, they can’t donate parts of a deer, and the leftover parts the hunters don’t want should be discarded.
 

paulc

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typical government intrusion.. nice to know some law enforcement officer making 50k+ a year spent his afternoon taking meat meant for charity and throwing it away.
 

kellyg

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If the law enforcement officers were following the law, THE LAW NEEDS TO BE CHANGED!! I hate hearing about things like this!!
 

Passthru

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 But on a side note,i do feel that the meat should be USDA inspected and that means they have to be on the premises while the meat is processed.
 But i also agree this is like the rich stealing from the poor and needy,Shame on them!!
 

kellyg

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Hey Passthru, I am asking out of ignorance here. What does a USDA inspection consist of and why would they need to inspect the meat if it was going to the needy and not to the person who harvested it? I have heard real horror stories about meat packing plants that had inspectors everywhere.
 

hags

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Damn Near Russia NOT Department Of Natural Resources
 

Fletch

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I agree typical government bull...oni. I could see if that processor was making a buck off the deal, but a charity? Next thing you know we'll have to eat everything on our plates, even the broccoli. :hittin-stick:
 

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