California Bill Would Allow Drivers to Eat Roadkill

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You’re driving down the road at night when, out of nowhere, a deer jumps in front of your car. It doesn’t survive. It’d be a shame to let all that meat go to waste, right? 

That’s the thinking behind Senate Bill 395, sponsored by Sen. Bob J. Archuleta, D-Montebello. 

That bill would amend state law, as well as the Fish and Game Code, to allow drivers of vehicles that fatally strike an animal to retroactively apply for a wildlife salvage permit, at no cost, within 24 hours of the collision. The bill also would allow non-drivers who come across roadkill to salvage the dead animal.

Existing law states that while accidentally killing an animal with a vehicle isn’t illegal, salvaging it is. Only state and local agencies may lawfully remove such animals. According to Archuleta’s bill text, each year “it is estimated that over 20,000 deer alone are hit by motor vehicles on California’s roadways.”
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