New California Law Opens Up RoadKill Cafe

Nov 7, 19 by Jorian Goes

New California Law Opens Up RoadKill Cafe

If you live in California, you could soon be allowed to take your roadkill home for dinner.

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law—called the Wildlife Traffic Safety Act—that will launch pilot programs in three yet-to-be-determined areas, allowing drivers to butcher animals they accidentally hit on roads.

Through the pilot program, anyone looking to harvest a dead animal they hit would report it through a mobile app to receive a “wildlife salvage permit” on the spot.

The US Department of Transportation estimates that American drivers hit up to two million large animals a year. A lot of the meat from those animals goes to waste in states where it’s still illegal to take that meat home. California has joined a long list of more than 25 states that now have some form of laws allowing people to eat roadkill. Of the states that have held out, some have argued that such laws could encourage poachers to claim they simply hit an animal they illegally hunted.

The mobile app for the pilot programs won’t be available until at least 2020, but until then, drivers should contact California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife to obtain their permit. The pilot is set to run until 2029, at which point it could potentially become permanent and statewide if successful.

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