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Criminal Justice & Legal System

NRC adopts eat-what-you-road-kill policy

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A new rule makes it easier for drivers who hit and kill an animal to claim their road kill.

The new rule replaces the previous policy that said people who want to claim road kill have to wait for an officer to show up and issue a special permit. Now, they can phone the police, report the accident, and take possession of the carcass.

“It makes it easier for someone to claim a roadside carcass that was either hit by them or hit by somebody else that they want to take possession of,” said Dean Molnar of the state Department of Natural Resources. He says it helps ensure the animal’s meat and carcass won’t go to waste. And he says it helps out county road commissions – especially in rural areas with fewer road crews.

“You know, that’s one less animal they have to clean off the road.” 

The rule was adopted recently by the state Natural Resources Commission to comply with a law passed by the Legislature last summer.

Molnar said there was some concern that poachers might make use of the laxer standard, but wildlife officials think they’re ready to handle people who abuse the new standard.