Oregon – A bill recently passed into law that allows for motorists who hit and kill deer and elk to take the animal home for dinner.
While it may sound strange, this is a fairly common practice in some states, with more than twenty states having laws about how motorists need to report the animals before harvesting them. There is a growing culture in the U.S surrounding the consumption of roadkill and the benefits of eating it. One of the biggest reasons people encourage the consumption of roadkill is the lack of food waste. Animals that may otherwise decay on the side of the road are consumed, leading to fewer animals harvested in farming operations for their meat. The animals killed, being wild are also not prone to having been pumped with antibiotics and hormones that can be common practice for some factor farms.
The types of animals eligible for road kill harvest vary from state to state, but the majority are moose, deer, and elk. A major concern of the road kill subculture is the possibility of worms or other infections having befallen the animal before death. Those enthusiasts encourage people just getting into eating roadkill to check the animal for signs of illness before deciding to take it home.
In some states, the law requires motorists who wish to bring the animal home to call the authorities or the Department of Natural Resources first. Once they’ve called the DNR a free animal tag will be issued, usually via that same phone call, to record the animal and to grant the motorist rights to take it home.
When it comes to wild animals, there is little chance that animals such as deer have eaten anything other than a natural diet, eliminating the concerning question of what animals are fed. The bill was passed with no resistance when Gov. Kate Brown signed it without a single ‘nay’ vote last week.