Currently sitting on Montana Governor Steve Bullock's desk is HB27, a bill that allows Montanans to salvage and eat the beasts they run over with their cars. To the antelopes, deer, elks, or moose out there, you've been warned. The bill, which actually passed the Montana State Senate by a vote of 28-21 on Thursday, allows parks and wildlife officers as well as law enforcement officials to approve motorists to take home certain animals that they hit and kill:
So that's sort of unpleasant. But deer, elk, moose, and antelope (you can see from the bill's language that the list of animals was actually trimmed down) aren't exactly dead squirrels (which the bill's sponsor said would remain exempt), and kill-it-and-eat-it roadkills laws are already established in game-friendly states like Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, and Colorado and wherever Honey Boo Boo and her clan live. According to Steve Lavin, a representative in the Montana House that overwhelmingly passed the bill on to the State Senate in February, the law is all about waste — and, you know, putting that animal meat to good use: "This bill," Lavin says in a Reuters report, "would allow me to legally call the food bank or allow somebody else who requests it to take it and use it." In a rural state like Montana, a bill like this could yield plenty of animal meat. "In 2011, the last year statistics were available, the Montana Department of Transportation reported a little over 1,900 wild animal-vehicle crashes," reports ABC News. "Considering nearly 7,000 carcasses were collected from the side of road that same year, it seems likely that many such accidents go unreported." Governor Bullock has not indicated whether he will sign the bill.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.