Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Roadkill ratatouille? Why not? More states encourage use

Roadkill cuisine sounds unappetizing to most, but more states are recognizing that it can make a perfectly good meal. Officials in several states are allowing, even encouraging, people to salvage roadkill in an effort to reduce collisions with carcasses and keep good meat from going to waste.

"Between 1 million and 2 million large animals are hit by vehicles every year in the United States in accidents that kill 200 people and cost nearly $8.4 billion in damages, according to estimates from the Federal Highway Administration," Matt Vasilogambros reports for Stateline. Why not use some of that meat?

Some supporters of the notion say it's a good way to feed the hungry; others say it makes sense from a conservation aspect. Idaho restaurateur Nate Lindskoog told Stateline that eating roadkill venison is the "most respectful thing to do if wild game dies. It's the best way to dignify its death." He stressed that he only eats roadkill at home, and does not serve it in his restaurant.

Within 24 hours of butchering roadkill, Idaho law requires salvagers to visit the state Fish and Game website to describe it. "State officials use the information to identify animal migration patterns, feeding areas and dangerous stretches of road. Their goal is to protect animals, but also people and their vehicles," Stateline reports. Click here for tips on how to safely harvest roadkill.

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