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Should South Carolina Allow Gator Farms?

We live in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where gators are spotted frequently in many bodies of water. We’re used to looking out for them near the marshes while boating, kayaking or fishing. Some in the state have other ideas for these scaly creatures. They’d like to establish legal, commercial alligator farms for profit.

Last month The State reported:

The Captive Alligator Propagation Act, sponsored by 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.

Currently, farm-raised alligator meat is provided to South Carolina grocery stores by four states where the industry is legal – Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. An Allendale, S.C., couple sees a need and business opportunity for alligator farms and has started the legal process with Senator Hutto.

You can read about the positions from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry subcommittee on alligator farming here.

What do you think about establishing commercial alligator farming for meat? Do you think anyone with a license will be allowed to kill gators? Will there be size restrictions? Will the state decide to follow similar laws as with deer hunting? Chime in here by commenting.