Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Illinois road kill law

Illinois road kill law

 Illinois road kill law - Roadkill bill now law in Illinois, Among the hundreds of new Illinois laws that went into effect at the start of the new year, the piece of legislation deemed the "roadkill bill" may be the most unique.

"It actually, techinically, was illegal for hunters and trappers who were actually licensed and permitted to actually pick up animals that they found," said Illinois State Representative Rich Morthland.

Under the new law, only Illinois residents with a valid furbearer's license can salvage animals from the sides of the state's highways and biways.

"This doesn't mean you get to go hunting with your Buick. This is definitely only for animals that are legitimately, accidently killed," says Morthland.

That's not the only stipulation. Licensed roadkill collectors can only pick up dead animals during Illinois's furbearer trapping season which generally runs from November through the end of January.

"The only time that that animal's fur is going to be good and be able to be sold for money is between November and January,” says Bill Christman, owner of a Western Illinois wildlife service who specializes in removing and relocating wild animals.

Christman is 100 precent behind the roadkill bill, and adds it's silly that there needs to be a law in the first place.

Illinois lawmakers actually passed the bill twice before it became law, because Governor Pat Quinn vetoed the bill. There was so much support among legislators that they managed to override the governor's veto.

While it may not effect a lot of illinois residents, it seems just about everone agrees roadkill ought to be fair game.

"If they can gain 20 bucks by picking up a raccoon great! Let 'em, you know?" said Christman.

The selling price for fox, racoon and muskrat pelts have nearly doubled in the past year.

One time my husband told me that our friend Jefferson was going to bring over some venison that he’d marinated. They were going to grill it, and it was going to be delicious. I’d never eaten venison, and I’d been watching a lot of Food Network, so I said, “Why not?”
As it turns out, the meat was delicious. It wasn’t gamey – Jefferson had marinated it for 24 hours. But as I took my third or fourth bite of the dish, a question popped up in my head. It wasn’t dear season, and the meat was fresh. Where, pray tell, did this tasty Bambi come from? I asked this question, and my husband looked at me and said, “You don’t want to know.” Oh dear Lord. Was this delicious food roadkill?
Technically, it was. The deer was struck, reportedly in the presence of my husband and Jefferson, by an SUV. Jefferson had picked it up, put it in his truck, taken it home, and cleaned it right away. It had been grilled until it reached a safe temperature. I was torn. Was this actually better than buying meat at a store where I had no idea how the animal had been treated or what had been fed or injected into it, yet the FDA had had a hand in approving it, or was it worse? What if the deer had an internal parasite that would then be transferred to me? I didn’t want to pull a tapeworm out of my leg by wrapping it around a pencil! What had I done? What had THEY done? Was this even legal?
That was over a year ago, and I’m still alive, and not skinny or (to my knowledge) full of parasite. So, I guess it was either safe, or we lucked out. I have, however, been curious about the legality of eating roadkill. So I checked it out.
Tennessee – gathering and consuming roadkill is legal
Illinois – you can’t gather it from along the side of the road or the woods, but if someone kills it (either on purpose or by accident) they can keep it, or if they give it to you YOU can keep it. Either way, it has to be reported to the DNR.
Maine – if you hit it, you call the police and have them tag it. Then, you take it home and cook it. MMM!
California – Nobody’s allowed to pick up roadkill, unless they have a scientific collecting permit and plan to study it. Nobody’s allowed to eat it.
Minnesota – Pretty much the same as Illinois.
Missouri – You have to obtain written permission to keep a road-killed deer to eat. I hope they are quick. That stuff doesn’t stay fresh forever.
Texas – You’re not allowed to keep it. Drag it to the side of the road and leave it there. The TDT will take care of it.
Washington State – Call Animal Services. Don’t eat it. If it’s on your property, bury it.
Wisconsin – You can obtain a free permit to remove roadkill deer. There are also contractors who do so. I imagine, if you collect it, you can keep it. Any Wisconsinite want to verify?
Wyoming – You have to get it tagged by a game warden, then you can keep it.
Georgia – Called and talked to the DNR Wildlife Division, awaiting response.
I’ll update as I get more state information, or if you know your state’s law, and it’s not listed here, go ahead and comment below and make my life easier.
incidentally, in the UK, you can collect any dead “wild” animal you want to. If you find a dead animal that has been kept in captivity, you have to call up and get them registered as dead and cremated. So, no eating farm animals, pets, or circus animals. Darn! And that dead elephant looked SO tasty!

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