New OR law will legalize the roadkill salvage of deer and elk by - KPTV - FOX 12

New OR law will legalize the roadkill salvage of deer and elk by 2019

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Soon it will be legal to eat roadkill in Oregon. It's all part of a newly passed law that legalizes the roadkill salvage of deer and elk struck by drivers on state highways.

As odd as that may sound to some, Oregon is joining a long list of states that already practice the salvage of roadkill.

"This year the state legislature passed SB 372 that allows for the legal salvage of deer or elk struck by a vehicle on accident," said Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife deputy administrator Ken Loffink Deputy.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife tells FOX 12, drivers hit and kill thousands of deer and elk on state highways every year. This newly passed law means that quality meat that's often left to rot on the side of Oregon's roadways will no longer go to waste.

ODFW administrators stress that those who consume salvaged meat do so at their own risk and there's no guarantee that the meat is fit for consumption.

It's a practice that's already legal in Washington state and one that's proving to be largely popular.

State data shows some 1,783 deer and elk were harvested from Washington highways since roadkill salvage was legalized there in 2016.

Washington state's program requires those drivers to print out a permit and keep a hardcopy with the meat that's signed and dated until all edible parts are consumed.

ODFW administrators say it's likely Oregon will develop a similar permit program.

It is important to note, it is still illegal in Oregon to take home roadkill, until the new law goes into effect. The state legislature gave the department up to two years to develop a safe and responsible salvage program that will also prevent poachers from taking advantage of this big change.

"We need to figure out how to protect against people going out and hitting deer or elk intentionally," said Loffink. "We'll work closely with OSP to develop rules so that we have a program that allows us to salvage meat, but manages the species so that folks aren't going out and doing things the wrong way, or purposefully."

As an added bonus the state says it's also possible this new law may help pinpoint road kill "hot spots" supporting ongoing efforts to reduce collisions with wildlife on state highways.

For more information about this legislation visit: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Measures/Overview/SB0372

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