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Oregon joins other states allowing roadkill for food

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PORTLAND, Ore. — A new law that goes into effect Jan. 1 means people in Oregon will be able to harvest and eat roadkill.

Lawmakers approved the measure in 2017, which states that “salvaging deer and elk struck by vehicles is legal in Oregon.”

About 20 other states allow people to take meat from animals killed by vehicles.

In Oregon people must complete and submit an application for a permit within 24 hours of salvaging the elk or deer. The application cannot be submitted beforehand because it requires specific information about location and time of the salvage.

The antlers must be handed over to the state’s wildlife agency.

Intentionally hitting a deer or elk in order to take the meat remains illegal in Oregon.

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a new rule effective July 1, 2016 that allowed people to legally salvage deer and elk carcasses in the state:

The rule specifically applies to deer and elk killed by motor vehicles. Only elk – not deer – may be salvaged in Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum counties, because federal laws prohibit handling endangered Columbian white-tailed deer in southwest Washington.

Anyone who takes possession of a deer or elk carcass must obtain a free, printable permit from WDFW within 24 hours. The permittee must then keep a hardcopy of the signed and dated salvage permit with the meat until all of the edible parts are consumed.

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