COLUMBIA- Local alligator meat could be the next foodie niche in South Carolina.
The Captive Alligator Propagation Act, sponsored by state Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, creates the legal framework for someone in South Carolina to set up a farming operation to raise alligators for slaughter for their meat and hide.It’s already done in Florida, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana. Grocery stores in South Carolina get their gator meat from those states.
The sale of meat from wild-caught gators is illegal, but farm-raised gators are treated like chickens – with tough hides and big teeth.
“It should be a profitable business,” said Joel Sleeman of Allendale, S.C., who hopes to make alligator farming a family business. “There’s definitely a market for the meat and the hide.”