WEIRD NEWS
02/22/2013 03:06 pm ET

Montana Roadkill Law Allows Motorists To Eat The Animals They Hit With Cars

Kill it and grill it.

Montana may now be the ultimate drive-through destination for adventurous foodies thanks to a new law that allows residents to consume any animals they kill.

The bill, which passed 19-2, allows deer, elk, moose and antelope that have been killed by a car to be harvested for food.

State Rep. Steve Lavin, who introduced the bill, initially included all animals, but Lavin eliminated sheep, bobcats and bears to offset any financial incentive to intentionally hit them.

"We have some animals whose parts are worth quite a bit: sheep, bobcats and bears," Lavin told the New York Daily News. "So I reduced the bill down to deer, elk, moose and antelope. The bill is confined to those four animals for that purpose. Their parts aren't worth what sheep or bear parts are worth."

Lavin, who is also a state trooper, introduced the law because he thought people were missing out on a potential food source.

"As people know, people hit a lot of animals on roadways, and I mean a ton of them," Lavin said, according to FoxNews.com. "There’s a lot of good meat being wasted out there."

The Montana Department of Transportation reported more than 1,900 wild animal–vehicle crashes in 2011, and nearly 7,000 carcasses were collected from the side of road, ABC News reported.

Before the bill passed, Lavin said the Highway Patrol would call food banks to pick up the roadkill carcasses -- even though that was in violation of the law.

“Usually when we call them, they are not available or they aren’t logistically able to come out and get it,” Lavin told the Daily Interlake newspaper.

There can be some dangers with eating roadkill -- especially if you don't know when the animal was killed. However, experts say if an animal was recently killed but otherwise healthy, the meat is actually much fresher than what you might find in a grocery store, SlashFood.com reported.

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