Proposed Bill would allow Drivers to Legally be able to eat Roadkill
A proposed bill would essentially allow drivers to legally be able to eat roadkill, even if they weren’t the one to hit the animal. Senate Bill 395 (SB 395) would amend current state law, along with the Fish and Game Code, to allow drivers that have fatally struck an animal to retroactively apply for a wildlife salvage permit. The wildlife salvage permit will need to be attained within 24 hours of the collision and it will be provided free of charge. According to the proposed bill,
… it is estimated that over 20,000 deer alone are hit by motor vehicles on California’s roadways. This translates into hundreds of thousands of pounds of healthy meat that could be utilized to feed those in need.
According to current state law, accidentally killing an animal with a vehicle isn’t illegal, but salvaging roadkill is illegal and only state and local agencies may lawfully remove such animals. The proposed bill does not cover any animal protected by the California Endangered Species Act and only applies to the following animals: antelope, deer, elk, and wild pigs. SB 395 would also let non-drivers who come across roadkill to be able to salvage the dead animal(s). Salvagers will also be able to kill an animal hit by a vehicle “in a safe, legal, and humane manner” under the proposed bill. SB 395 will go into effect in 2021 if it is passed, so we will have to wait and see if it passes.