Hit & Run & Eat: Roadkill for Dinner Now Legal in Montana

Published:6:27 pm EDT, February 26, 2013| Updated:8:40 pm EDT, February 26, 2013|
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Accidentally hit an animal with your SUV on the highway? Dinner's served!

Montana has passed a bill that allows roadkill to be harvested for food. Now instead of cringing and looking away when driving past the mangled bodies of animals on the side of the road —  people can take that tasty meat home and slap it on the barbecue.

The bill, which passed with an overwhelming 19 votes for and 2 against, allows run-over deer, elk, moose and antelope to be taken from the roads and consumed. Although the bill initially included "all animals," the bill specified it to the four more "meaty" aforementioned animals so as to "offset any financial incentive to intentionally hit" sheep, bobcats and bears.

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State Trooper and State Rep. Steven Lavin introduced the bill because he felt Montanans were missing out on a large food source.

"As people know, people hit a lot of animals on roadways, and I mean a ton of them," Lavin said, according to FoxNews.com. "There's a lot of good meat being wasted out there."

Montana Eat Roadkill Steven Lavin Legal to Eat Roadkill.

Montana Rep. Steven Lavin

Collisions between cars and animals are widespread in rural Montana. In 2011, the last year statistics were available, the Montana Department of Transportation reported over 1,900 wild animal-vehicle collisions. However, considering 7,000 animal carcasses were collected from roadsides that same year, it's probable most accidents go unreported. That's a lot of meat.

Lavin explained that this law would be great for food banks, which apparently already go through the activity of peeling carcasses off the side of the road. This law would just make it legal.

What does PETA think about this bill? They've clearly stated "If people must eat animal carcasses, roadkill is a superior option to the neatly shrink-wrapped plastic packages of meat in the supermarket."  According to Slashfood.com, roadkill can be fresher than supermarket meat. Other sources argue that eating roadkill is healthier for the consumer than meat laden with antibiotics, hormones and growth stimulants. Regardless, the driver would still have to go through the mouth-watering activity of cleaning animal intestines off the windshield before dinner.

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