New law in Wyoming lets drivers cook and eat their own roadkill

Sinead Butler
Wednesday 14 April 2021 11:08
news

Roadkill in California - where it has been legal since 2019 to take home roadkill to cook and eat.

(Getty Images)

It looks like roadkill is the latest addition to the menu in Wyonming.

A new law has passed in the state allowing drivers to take home animals that have been accidentally killed by a car to cook and eat.

After being illegal in the state for generations, Wyoming joins 30 other states where drivers can cook their roadkill, including California and New York, according to Wide Open Eats.

“It’s really hard to guess and estimate how much interest there will be,” Game and Fish Chief Game Warden Rick King told the Jackson Hole Daily. “Montana has been averaging about 1,000 salvage permits a year.”

Around 3,000 instances of animal-vehicle collisions are reported each year in the state, meaning that tons of fresh, edible meat are wasted.

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If residents choose to take home roadkill to eat, they are required to retrieve the whole carcass, so that body parts are not left behind on roads.

Endangered or threatened animals such as bighorn sheep, mountain goats and grizzly bears are off-limits too.

“Deer, elk, moose, pronghorn — those will be the species that folks primarily have an interest in,” King added.

There have been previous attempts to change this law before but they ultimately failed due to concerns that drivers would abuse the law by intentionally hitting trophy animals, or that poachers would illegally claim their catches were roadkill.

“We don’t want to create a system where people use this process to take illegal game,” King said. “It will be tough.”

Permits to salvage meat will be made available online, and the Game and Fish Department and Wyoming Department of Transportation and more regulations are being drafted to govern the process, King said.

Animal rights groups have classed eating roadkills an ethical practice too.

“Eating roadkill is healthier for the consumer than meat laden with antibiotics, hormones, and growth stimulants, as most meat is today,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said on their website.

They added: “It is also more humane in that animals killed on the road were not castrated, dehorned, or debeaked without anesthesia… Perhaps the animals never knew what hit them.”

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