Driving down the road at night, with the rain picking up, it’s becoming more and more difficult to see. As your visibility lessens, you see something dart in your peripheral vision, a streak of gray in the darkness.
You slam on your breaks, but it’s too late. The front of your pick-up collides with the front end of something, shaking your vehicle.
After recovering from the initial shock, you get out of your truck, fearful of the damage. You find a deer, a young buck, actually, dead in front of you bumper. There is damage to the front of your car, but it is only superficial, and you are able to drive the truck home. Deciding what to do next may prove more difficult than you anticipated.
According to a recent ABA article, if the accident occurred in Montana, you can now legally pick up the deer—and take it home for dinner.
Montana recently joined at least a dozen other states that have legalized the consumption of roadkill. Anyone who comes across a dead animal in Big Sky Country can grill the meat or stick it in the freezer, provided a permit from a state peace officer is obtained within 24 hours of finding the carcass.
This raises the question: should we be allowed to eat roadkill? States such as Alaska, Georgia, and Illinois allow primarily charitable organizations like food banks to scoop up carcasses off the pavement to serve. Many even argue that roadkill is fresher than meat at the local market.
Those opposed to the legalization of the consumption of roadkill argue that people may begin poaching wild animals with their cars. Others raise public health concerns, saying peace officers are not qualified to inspect roadkill for safe consumption or fear liability problems for soup kitchens that may take advantage of such laws, only to learn the hard way that the meat is tainted.
In Alabama, there is not specific law addressing the removal or consumption of roadkill.
Should there, however, be a law officially legalizing the consumption of roadkill? Outlawing it?
We’d like to hear your response on whether officially legalizing the consumption of roadkill is the right step to take. Please contact the office of Martinton & Beason, P.C. in Huntsville, Alabama, comment on our Facebook page, or tweet at @MartinsonBeason.