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Road kill top 10 ~ by Sean

Road kill top 10

Continuing with my theme of meat for free ..... roadkill

  1. It is illegal to remove an animal that you have killed on the road. (This is aimed at preventing people deliberately trying to kill animals on the roadways).
  2. The dead animal is the property of the landowner.  This is usually the council and there is almost always no objection from councils to people removing dead animals from the roads.
  3. Do not ever remove protected species, for example finding and eating a road kill eagle is not permitted.
  4. Do not stop to collect a dead animal if you are going to cause a hazard to other road users.
  5. A pair of rubber gloves and a bin liner are handy to keep in your car for removing the animal. Be aware though that if you also have masking tape or rope and a knife you might have some explaining to do should you be stopped by a policeman.
  6. Avoid obviously diseased animals. Mange and Mixi’ (myxomatosis of rabbits) are two that are very obvious and I personally would just leave them alone.
  7. Avoid animals that have been partially eaten or whose digestive tract has been damaged. Not to put to fine a point on it but meat covered in saliva, urine or faeces is probably not high on anyone’s list of food choices.
  8. Process the meat from the carcass in a well lit area wearing rubber gloves if possible. Remove the skin without delay and dispose of in a plastic bag.  Some animals will carry fleas which may bite or attempt to bite exposed skin. Wear gloves, reduce the handling time of the skin and keep an eye out for them.
  9. Check the internal organs. It’s reasonable to assume that a vehicle has killed the animal but check if the liver looks healthy. Are there hard lumps or spots visible? These are common signs of disease.
  10. Cook any road kill thoroughly. If you like your steak rare that’s fine but the only way to ensure that a wild road kill animal is safe to eat is to cook it completely. If you are eating rare road kill you are asking for trouble.
  11. Cook any road kill thoroughly.  No it’s not a typo; it’s just THE most important part to remember so it’s here twice.


Posted in: Flora & Fauna, Practical Guides ~ On: 15 July, 2011

3 comments so far

Peter Walker
21 August, 2018

“It is illegal to remove an animal that you have killed on the road.”

Really. Show me the law, not the folklore, not the commonly held beliefs, not the urban myths. I am not talking about animals deliberately pursued and killed, but those killed in genuine accidents.

As for the very common belief that the driver of a car that kills an animal in an accident cannot take it, but the driver of the car behind can, everyone knows that’s true, but nobody has been able to come up with the law. If there isn’t a law, then there isn’t a law. Even police officers posting on the Police Community forum belief it, but can’t find the law. Show me the law!

18 July, 2011

@ Mark, Excellent comment! Wow I would never have thought of that as a scenario in finding a dead animal at the roadside. I’ll see if I can find out a bit more info from a veterinarian about protocols in that situation. I can’t imagine that leaving a poisonous carcass for humans or other carnivorous animals to find is recommended practice. If I find anything useful or interesting I’ll get back to you. Thanks Mark.

Mark Gibbens
18 July, 2011

As someone with a bit of previous form (Roe, Fallow, Sika, Muntjac)I read this with interest! There were some scary stories circulating of a vet humanely killing an injured deer by a roadside by injection and then leaving the carcass. Another potential worry. Keep it up, a great blog!

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