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Published March 07, 2012, 09:53 AM

Bill seeks to reverse drop in venison donations

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Tighter rules are being blamed for a sharp drop-off in donations of venison to Minnesota's food shelves.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Tighter rules are being blamed for a sharp drop-off in donations of venison to Minnesota's food shelves.

Since the state began requiring X-rays of donated venison to ensure it's not contaminated with lead from bullet fragments, donations have plunged from 78,500 pounds in 2007 to about 20,000 pounds in 2010.

Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, chairman of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources committee, says meat processors are not participating in the program because of all the rules. Minnesota Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/vZzh73) his committee heard testimony but did not vote Tuesday on his bill to loosen the requirements.

Greta Gauthier, director of governmental relations for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, testified against the bill. She cited tests that found lead in around a quarter of venison samples checked before the X-ray requirement.

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