What’s for dinner? Bill to change roadkill laws passes Virginia House

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A bill looking to change the laws around drivers’ rights to claim roadkill was passed unanimously by the Virginia House of Delegates.

The bill, submitted by chief patron Del. Tony Wilt (R-34), was approved in a 98-0 vote in the House on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Currently, if a game animal is hit by a vehicle, the driver is required to call a conservation officer or local law enforcement to come and verify the dead animal and give the driver permission to take the animal. Only the driver of the vehicle is entitled to take the animal and it must have occurred within the animal’s hunting season.

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The measure, if it were to become law, would allow someone other than the driver to claim the animal. They would still be required to contact authorities to verify the animal and give permission before taking the animal.

However, according to the bill, the new law would also no longer apply only to bears and deer — now including turkeys and elk as well — and would not be dependent on hunting seasons.

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“Currently, if nobody takes the animal, it falls back onto VDOT,” Wilt said during a review of the bill in the House Natural Resources Subcommittee. “There are certain times of the year when those things can stack up… and they go to the landfill because that is the only thing they have to do with them. And again, Madam Chair, we are talking about a fresh animal and it happens a lot, not everywhere but in certain regions of the state.”

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