Why Picking Up Roadkill Makes Sense
There are plenty of good reasons to pick up roadkill from the streets whenever possible. From a moral standpoint, it’s just not right to let an animal die for no reason and leave it to decay on the road when there are people in our country going hungry every night. Looking at it economically, it can also be a way to save some money on your grocery bill. But before you head out with a pair of gloves and a plastic bag, there are a few things you should know.
1. Is It Legal?
The first thing you need to check before picking up roadkill is whether it’s legal to do so in your area. Laws and regulations regarding roadkill vary from state to state, and even from county to county. In some places, it is perfectly legal to pick up and utilize roadkill, while in others, it may be strictly prohibited.
So, before you start scavenging, make sure to familiarize yourself with local regulations. Contact your local fish and game department or search online for information regarding the specific laws in your area.
2. Safety First
When picking up roadkill, it is essential to prioritize your safety. Remember that you are dealing with a dead animal, and there are potential risks involved. Here are a few tips to ensure your safety:
- Wear proper protective gear, such as gloves and a mask, to prevent any potential transmission of diseases or parasites.
- Avoid areas with heavy traffic or busy roads. Look for roadkill in less busy areas to reduce the risk of accidents.
- Use caution when handling the animal to avoid any sharp objects or broken bones that may be present.
- Dispose of any waste, such as gloves or bags, responsibly and consider using biohazard bags if available.
3. Freshness Matters
It is crucial to consider the freshness of the roadkill when deciding whether or not to pick it up. A freshly killed animal can be safely consumed if handled properly, but the longer it has been exposed to the elements, the higher the risk of bacterial growth and decomposition.
It’s generally recommended to pick up roadkill that is less than 24 hours old. If the animal is still warm and has clear eyes, it is likely fresh. However, if the animal appears bloated, has a foul smell, or shows signs of decay, it’s best to leave it alone.
4. Proper Butchering and Preparation
Assuming you are legally allowed to pick up and consume roadkill, it is essential to know how to properly butcher and prepare the animal before consuming it. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure you have the necessary tools and equipment for butchering, such as a sharp knife, cutting board, and gloves.
- Choose a clean and suitable location for butchering to minimize the risk of contamination.
- Follow proper food safety procedures, including keeping the meat at the correct temperature to prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Consider seeking guidance from experienced hunters or butchers if you are unsure about the process.
My 2 Cents
Picking up roadkill can be a controversial topic, but if done legally and safely, it can have both moral and economic benefits. While it may not be for everyone, there are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to give it a try.
Remember to always check your local laws and regulations before picking up roadkill. Safety should be your top priority, so make sure to wear protective gear and avoid busy roads. Only pick up roadkill that is fresh and shows no signs of decay. Finally, educate yourself on proper butchering and food safety procedures before consuming the meat.
If you decide to give roadkill a shot, it’s important to approach it with an open mind and a willingness to learn. With the right knowledge and precautions, roadkill can be a resourceful way to reduce waste, save money, and potentially provide food for those in need.