Senate approves Booher roadkill bill

LANSING—Sen. Darwin Booher’s bill to allow drivers to keep roadkill without obtaining a permit was approved Wednesday by the Michigan Senate. Residents can currently claim an animal killed by a car, but only after first obtaining a permit from law enforcement. 

“This legislation is about eliminating unnecessary red tape concerning the collection of roadkill from Michigan roadways for the benefit of everyone,” said Booher, R-Evart. “Roadkill can often sit on the road for days. Making it easier for drivers who unfortunately hit an animal to remove it will reduce the financial burden on state and local agencies and road commissions who currently pick up roadkill – saving scarce road funding dollars.”

Under Senate Bill 613, the driver hitting an animal would have first priority to claim it. For small game, drivers would have to keep a written record of information about the animal and the location.

For big game, the driver of a vehicle involved in a roadkill collision could call 911 to report the accident and state his or her intent to keep the animal; or the driver or other motorists not involved in the collision could either contact the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or local law enforcement to indicate their intent to collect the roadkill.

“While fresh roadkill like deer can be consumed, I introduced this bill at the request of several constituents who have asked to use roadkill for various purposes, such as hunting, composting or salvaging the hides,” Booher said. “This is about reducing regulations and saving taxpayer dollars.”

SB 613 has been sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration.