Donated deer meat goes to waste after chronic wasting disease detected

Published: Feb. 19, 2019 at 6:25 PM CST
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Some 600 pounds of ground venison donated by the City of Rapid City for the benefit of needy families will have to be scrapped after chronic wasting disease was detected in one of the deer carcasses that produced the meat.

And state game officials want new procedures in place to minimize any possible waste next year.

Rapid City culled its deer population by 226 head this winter and donated the meat to Feeding South Dakota. State Game, Fish & Parks officials mandated that each deer get tested for CWD, a disease fatal to the deer. While there is no evidence that tainted meat can infect humans, no one wants to take that risk.

G,F & P officials say too many carcasses were processed together so that when the the disease was detected in a single deer, a lot of meat was wasted. They want changes in place for next year's city effort to thin its deer herd.

"We'll want to see them either processed in smaller batches or go through a different process so we can be sure we don't have to throw out a bunch of meat," said Game, Fish & Park's John Kanta. "Most important to us is that this high quality meat gets into the hands of needy families and doesn't go to waste."

City officials say they are working with game officials, processors and Feeding South Dakota to make the changes necessary to minimize waste in the future.

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