Is It Legal To Eat Roadkill?

(File photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

(File photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Officials in a county in upstate New York were frantically looking for a dead deer. Apparently a motorist had spotted a deer behaving oddly and called animal control. Before the authorities could arrive, the deer was hit by a car, and someone took the carcass, likely to eat. So officials have put out the word not to eat the roadkill.

On behalf of cityslickers everywhere let me say: Blech! You need to be told that? Also, isn’t there a law on that?

Can you legally eat roadkill?

In a growing number of states, laws are being passed that specifically say yes. While state laws differ, many states with deer, elk and antelope populations do allow you to keep the animal for food.

In most states, dogs and cats that have been hit can’t be taken or eaten. And some states that allow you to take and eat roadkill require that you notify a game warden before taking home the meat.

There are a few states that prohibit the eating of roadkill. Like Texas. Surprised, high fallutin’ Northerners?

Because laws vary by state and county and because meat, like that in upstate New York, can be contaminated (not to mentioned skid marked), check with animal control in the county where you find the roadkill before taking and/or consuming it.

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