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New Bill Allows Californians To Eat Roadkill

East Brunswick, NJ - March 3, 2018: dead deer on side of road; cars pass roadkill on highway. - Image

California is now among the 20 states in the US that allows residents to cook and eat roadkill

Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 395 into effect last week, which allows the issuing of free permits to anyone who wishes to turn dead animals lying out on the road into a home-cooked meal. According to the bill, more than 20,000 deer are killed by moving vehicles each year in California. 

Roadkill laws like these already exists in Pennsylvania, Florida, Washington, North Carolina, and more. The concept is generally the same, with some varying differences; for example in Montana, free salvage applies to only certain animals, including deer, elk, moose, and antelope. 

Animal activists have actually expressed support for Senate Bill 395. Organizations like PETA say that meat from roadkill are less likely to contain antibiotics, hormones, or other growth stimulants than processed ones from the supermarket. Furthermore, animals that have faced roadkill were not subjected to trauma prior to dying, leaving it perceived as a more “humane” way to go. 

Don’t be too hasty with your new dinner plans though: the commission for the roadkill bill won’t be in full effect at least until they receive proper government funding from the legislature. The deadline to receive these funds is January 1, 2022, so hold your deer/antelope/elk – if not horses.

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Vivian Wang

Vivian is a travel enthusiast and food connoisseur living in New York City. Her curiosity and passion for languages and culture has taken her across eight countries over the past year. When not working, you can find her meandering in art museums or sampling food at the street markets.

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