Would you eat roadkill? Washington state allows elk and deer that have been killed by motor vehicles to be salvaged and consumed. In several Washington state counties where the Colombian white-tailed deer are protected, only elk can be salvaged. A permit for salvaging the meat must be obtained within 24 hours. The state is very clear that they do not guarantee that the meat is fit for human consumption.
Pennsylvania and Oregon have similar rules about roadkill, as do more than two dozen other states. In 2018, more than 3,600 permits to salvage road kill were issued in Pennsylvania. Each state has its own rules so check first if you think you might want to pick up a fresh kill one day. In Arizona, for example, only big game animals may be salvaged. So leave those squirrels alone.
Rules about salvaging road kill have been modified in some places due to COVID-19 concerns. In Oregon, for example, the rule to check in roadkill parts within 5 business days has been waived with certain exceptions. And watch for specific instructions about how to remove the roadkill from the road. Here is what Oregon says: “The entire carcass of the animal including gut piles must be removed from the road and road right of way during the salvage.”
Free-range, wild animals are going to encounter vehicles, and it’s just a simple fact that roadkill is a consistent cause of their death. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) likes the idea of salvaging roadkill too. They feel that the meat is healthier – no hormones, no pesticides – and it’s more humane. The animals might not even know what hit them!
The next time you pass roadkill, get your BBQ ready! Raccoon, squirrel and possum are all the rage – and very tasty! And, if you want to turn the roadkill into a delicious and memorable experience, you might want to pick up the ever-popular Road Kill Cookbook.
Would you eat roadkill? Tell us in the poll below and please leave a comment, too.