Roadkill could become legal to eat in California

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A proposed California state law would make it legal for residents to eat roadkill. That’s right, Senate Bill 395 would allow people who accidentally hit and kill wild animals on California roads to recover the edible portions.

Forget farm fresh. How about ready-to-eat roadkill? California lawmakers could make it legal to eat animals you accidentally hit–and kill–on roadway. It’s a recipe for unusual dinnertime conversation.

“You’re gonna get a lot of loss, so there’s not much you’re gonna get out of the animal after it’s been hit like that,” said Ian Higgs, butcher.

Ian Higgs is a custom butcher at Roseville Meats, a craft he’s refined over a decade. He says you can’t harvest much edible meat from roadkill. The trauma from most deadly collision’s makes the meat go bad.

“You can’t eat dirt, you know, and the thing is when it gets hit that hard, you’re gonna have a lot of tough meat,” said Higgs. 

California is following more than 20 other states that have already made eating roadkill legal. UC Davis has maintained a website documenting roadkill incidents across California. In 10 years, the roadkill observation system has recorded 60,000 cases of roadkill collisions, most with deer.

Now, this effort to turn those wildlife collisions into a main course. Could “you kill it, you grill it,”  be coming to California?

If passed, the law would go into effect on January 1st, 2021.

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