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Illinois Road Kill

January 10, 2012 by staff 

Illinois Road Kill, There is a new law on the books in Illinois that you may not have heard much about. The so-called “roadkill bill” lets people take roadkill home with them and salvage the pelts, even meat.

At least 14 states have laws relating to roadkill. The Illinois law took effect in October, and it’s become a popular way to make use out of the animals with a not-so-fortunate fate. Motorists can pick up the animals they hit or find alongside the road and salvage them for fur or food. “The animals are going to go to waste if they’re laying on the side of the road. Just like anything else, if someone can utilize it so it doesn’t go to waste that’s a benefit,” said Sgt. Laura Petreikis, Illinois Department of Natural Resources. .

Conservation officers say it’s a win-win. People can sell the pelts for profit and it helps local municipalities or the Department of Transportation which are responsible for removing roadkill. “They’re very busy so it’s not a bad deal for anybody that they’re allowed to pick it up,” added Sgt. Petreikis. But not just anyone can, or at anytime. You have to have the proper hunting or trapping license, and a habitat stamp. Also, carcasses can only be picked up if the animal is in season.

“Typically what people would pick up would be a raccoon or an opossum, sometimes a coyote, any of the fur bearing animals that aren’t protected.” This year’s numbers haven’t been released, but the state issued more than 4,200 furbearer licenses last season, from late 2010 through January 2011. That’s almost 400 more than the year before.

For those that do take part the DNR urges safety so that no one suffers the same fate as the animals. “We just ask they keep safety in mind, keep Illinois vehicle code regulations in mind. Don’t park in the roadway and be aware of your surroundings when you’re picking something up.” said Sgt. Petreikis.

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