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Food Media

New California law makes it legal to cook up roadkill — and aims to save lives

Melanie Wong | Oct 21, 201910:58 AM     2

" . . . Archuleta’s bill mandates a pilot program to track wildlife collisions in three parts of the state, which have yet to be determined. By Jan. 1, 2022, the California Fish and Game Commission must make a cell phone app that will let drivers report accidents involving deer, elk, antelope and wild pigs. The commission and other state agencies such as CalTrans will collect that data and analyze it to see where they need to improve road barriers, add lighting or consider creating bridges for wildlife crossings.

When a driver or passer-by reports such a collision, if the animal is killed, Archuleta said the app will ask them whether they want to collect the animal. If they say yes, they’ll immediately get a free salvage permit.

If the animal is injured but not killed, the bill states travelers must let the Department of Fish and Wildlife decide whether to put the animal down. If state authorities kill the animal, then the public can still ask to take the carcass home.

It’s long been illegal for anyone but state authorities to collect large game animals, which Archuleta said creates a secondary safety hazard since animals could still be in roadways or distracting to passing drivers. And it has also meant that no one could use the carcasses, wasting thousands of pounds of meat each year.

That’s why the practice of salvaging game has gained popularity even among some people who are otherwise vegetarians or against factory farming, with roadkill cookbooks on the market and cook-off competitions happening each year. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA says this: 'If people must eat animal carcasses, roadkill is a superior option to the neatly shrink-wrapped plastic packages of meat in the supermarket' . . . "

New California law makes it legal to cook up roadkill — and aims to save lives

Gov. Newsom approves Wildlife Traffic Safety Act from State Senator Bob Archuleta.

www.mercurynews.com
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