Road to table!
Never let it be said that all the rules that California’s legislators create are stale and dull.
Sacramento is proposing new rules that would make eating roadkill legal.
You’re driving down the road at night when, out of nowhere, a deer jumps in front of your car. It doesn’t survive. It’d be a shame to let all that meat go to waste, right?
That’s the thinking behind Senate Bill 395, sponsored by Sen. Bob J. Archuleta, D-Montebello.
That bill would amend state law, as well as the Fish and Game Code, to allow drivers of vehicles that fatally strike an animal to retroactively apply for a wildlife salvage permit, at no cost, within 24 hours of the collision. The bill also would allow non-drivers who come across roadkill to salvage the dead animal
The measure has the potential to offer citizens thousands of tasty, fresh meat opportunities.
A report published by UC Davis’ Road Ecology Center last year shows that more than 56,000 animal carcasses were found on local roads and state highways between 2009 and 2017. The bill estimates that more than 20,000 deer are hit by cars on California’s roadways annually.
“This translates into hundreds of thousands of pounds of healthy meat that could be utilized to feed those in need,” the bill states.
If the law passes, the person who takes the animal would be required to retroactively apply online for a wildlife salvage permit within 24 hours of finding the carcass. With this data, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife would maintain a log of the number of permits issued, the location of impacts, species of wildlife and the estimated amount of meat salvaged each year.
Those who might explore this automotive harvesting option should be aware that butchering is both a science and an art.
“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,” according to butcher Ian Higgs.
Ian Higgs is a custom butcher at Rolesville Meats.
He says you cannot harvest much edible meat from roadkill.
“It’s definitely an art,” said Higgs.
The trauma from most deadly collisions makes meat go bad.
Higgs says you can’t eat dirt. He also says when meat gets hit that hard, you’re gonna have a lot of tough meat.
Californians concerned about the “Zombie Deer” disease that has spread through the country will be happy to learn that even if the animals is infected, the meat is safe to eat.
Researchers examined about 80 people who’ve feasted on the meat of deer that tested positive for chronic wasting disease — a fatal illness that causes zombie-like behavior in the animals and could spread to humans — and found over the course of the six-year study “no significant changes in health conditions,” USA Today reported on Thursday.
The tainted deer meat was unwittingly served to 200 to 250 at a fire company in Oneida County, New York, on March 13, 2005. The 80 or so mostly white males who ate the venison agreed to participate in the study carried out by the Oneida County Health Department and experts at the State University of New York-Binghamton.
The comments about the proposal have been humorous:
???????????????????????? I’d start to be careful what you eat in California from now on at their restaurants!!! ???????????????????? road kill special and it’s organic too!!! https://t.co/Y0iqAM0SbB
— vaughn Wells (@Wells6969Vaughn) February 23, 2019
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