MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – It's illegal to sell venison in South Carolina, but there's a catch.
The WMBF Investigates team looked into the issue after a viewer asked why Arby's will be allowed to sell its venison sandwich across the state starting Saturday. The viewer noted hunters are told it's illegal to buy and sell venison in the state.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources has a frequently asked questions section that addresses this.
"These deer they're processing in New Zealand are processed like we would handle beef here," said James Miller, the director of the South Carolina Meat-Poultry Inspection Department.
South Carolina law dictates those restaurants selling venison need a permit from the State Livestock-Poultry Health Commission or the United States Department of Agriculture to sell the venison. WMBF News learned Arby's doesn't have a permit with either, but again, there's a catch.
The law says the permit doesn't apply to "venison products that are fully cooked or preserved in a manner allowing for human consumption with no further preparation." It does say those products need official marks of inspection.