Roadkill: It’s What’s for Dinner

driving laws; wacky laws; global; drive

This Week’s Wacky Wednesday: Roadkill: It’s What’s for Dinner

Are you trying to figure out what to do for dinner? Maybe you are thinking about burgers or Italian. If you are in Wyoming, though, you might be hankering for some roadkill. If you love meat, and you aren’t too fussy about how you get that meat, you will love the new law that was recently signed in Wyoming. It might sound strange, but it makes a lot of sense.

What’s Up in Wyoming?

Governor Mark Gordon signed the bill into law, so Wyoming residents are now able to collect dead animals from the side of the road if their death was due to an accident with a motor vehicle. Certain animals have been excluded from the list of acceptable roadkill. The animals that can’t be eaten include mountain goats, bighorn sheep, wolves, and grizzly bears. However, antelope, elk, and deer are good to go.

One of the important things residents need to keep in mind is that they are required to take and remove the entire carcass, not just part of it. Additionally, you can’t simply cruise the highways looking for the bodies of animals that have met an untimely end. You will need to contact the fish and game department to get a certificate first. Not all of the rules are in place quite yet, but they will be soon.

If you are in Wyoming and you want to take advantage of this, you’ll want to check out the rules and requirements once they have been finalized. One of the potential rules is that the person who wants the donation certificate for the animal will have to present the carcass for inspection. This will verify that it meets the regulations and that it is safe to eat.

Additionally, the Wyoming Transportation Commission can request that the harvesting of roadkill be prohibited on certain sections of the highway.

It’s Not Just Wyoming

Wyoming is the 31st state that has allowed for the harvest and consumption of roadkill. There are even certain jurisdictions in California where this is going to be legal starting in 2022. Some of the other states where it is legal in certain circumstances include Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Oregon, and North Dakota.

You would think that Wyoming would have passed this law sooner. It likely would have been, but there was a fear that some people would try to strike trophy animals with their vehicles. There was also concern about poachers. The state has said that anyone who partakes in those types of activities will be punished.

Is It Bad to Eat Roadkill?

When you hear the word roadkill, it’s understandable if you get a little squeamish. However, when you stop to think about it, harvesting wildlife that has been recently killed by a motor vehicle may not be such a bad idea at all. It ensures that the animal is being used, and it can help to supplement the amount of meat that someone has in their refrigerator. By getting the animal inspected, which is what the regulations will likely require, the residents can be sure the meat is safe.

As long as it is fresh, there shouldn’t be any more harm eating roadkill than there would be from hunting game. When you think about it, the meat will likely be far fresher than what you might get through the grocery store, as well.

As strange as the new Wyoming law might sound, it can mean more meat for people who need it in Wyoming and in other states where it is legal. Hopefully, it’s not abused and those who try will be caught and prosecuted.