If Senator Brad Hutto’s Captive Alligator Propagation Act passes the legislature, South Carolina would become the fifth state to allow commercial alligator farming after Florida, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana.
Residents of the state can already hunt alligators and buy alligator meat, but there is no way for residents to raise the nation’s largest reptiles as livestock.
The idea came to Sen. Hutto by way of Joel Sleeman, who works for a construction prep company in the tiny town of Allendale. Sleeman hasn’t yet tried his hand at farming or raising livestock, but his wife is from Louisiana where the vast majority of the nation’s alligator farms dot the off-roads of swamp highways.
If he succeeds, he will be joining a industry where hardy farmers supply the raw materials for purses that fetch $22,400 in a Louis Vuitton storefront.
“It should be a profitable business,” Sleeman told the Charlotte Observer in their report on the bill. “There’s definitely a market for the meat and the hide.”