"Roadkill for dinner," as gross and unappetizing as this might sound, this hunting along the side of the road is increasing in popularity across the nation today. According to Boston.com on March 20, 2013, Montana is the latest state to address claiming roadkill for its meat in their laws.
Supporters feel that leaving caucuses on the side of the road to rot is just a waste of good meat. This new bill will allow folks to pick up deer, elk, moose, and antelope, and bring it home and cook it up. Senator Larry Jent weighed in on this new bill after the senate gave the bill backing on Wednesday. He is all for not letting the meat go to waste by the side of the road.
According to Boston.com “the measure is now a final vote from heading to Governor Steve Bullock.” This law entails giving out permits to individuals allowing them to remove the carcasses of elk, deer, antelope and moose off the state's roadways.
The bill had an earlier version that was canned as it was slated to allow fur-bearing animals, upland game birds and migratory game birds as part of this road-kill collection. The biggest question from opponents of this bill is the safety of this meat, after all it is going from the pavement to the dinner table.
Senator Kendall Van Dyk is one of the opponents who claims, “Despite it's good intentions, it doesn't pass the smell test for me.” He also pointed out that law enforcement officers are not qualified to distinguish between meat that is safe and meat that isn't.
This brings up questions from the folks who provide the beef from cattle for dinner tables around the country. Their industry has a strict set of federal regulations when it comes to the beef that people eat. This roadkill law doesn't have any type of regulation for the safety of the meat from the animals scraped off the side of the road.
Montana joins Illinois and Alaska, who also allow roadkill salvage for meat and pelts. Alaska runs a program that distributes moose carcasses to various charities and Illinois issues fur-bearing permits for folks to salvage the roadkill for both pelts and meat. Others wonder if this bill has just created a new weapon for hunters, the car. Jent didn't think this would be the case stating, “We don't have very many suicidal drivers.”