Can you ship venison overseas?

June 18, 2013 

Question: We are interested in shipping sealed venison packages to the troops overseas. Are there any California laws that prohibit this?

Answer: There are no laws that prohibit the shipping of venison from California as long as the animals were lawfully taken in accordance with California Fish and Game laws, including seasons, limits and gender restrictions. .

However, whether or not the military will accept sealed venison from a private citizen is another issue. Contact them directly for details.

Question: I have been warned three times this year by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy that the next time I am caught feeding squirrels at the local park, I will get a ticket. The deputy stated they enforce state regulations. However, I fed them foods that are safe; food from pet stores such as pigeon feed, and raw unshelled peanuts. There are no signs posted in the park where I visit but I was told it's still a violation.

There are really no food sources for these animals at the park and I don't want to see malnourished animals.

Answer: It's important not to feed wildlife because feeding brings animals into close proximity with each other, which puts them at greater risk of exposure to diseases and the droppings of the other animals, especially from large populations of birds in a relatively small area. If the animals expect the food, they will stay in the area and may create a public health and water quality issue. Also, even the healthiest pet food and seeds they get from people could never duplicate the diet they would get eating the food found in their natural environment. If the natural food supply in an area decreases, that is a signal to the animals to move to a different area.

See additional information regarding feeding wildlife online at www.dfg.ca.gov/LivingWithWildlife/.

Carrie Wilson is a marine environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Wilson can be contacted at Cal.Outdoors@wildlife.ca.gov.

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