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Roadkill rules

Discussion in 'Bushcraft and survival skills' started by madelinew, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. madelinew

    madelinew Tenderfoot

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    I know the laws about not collecting roadkill you've hit yourself although you can pick up the creature the guy in front has dispatched with his front bumper.

    Are the laws any different about roadkill in Scotland?

    I'm specifically thinking about deer. I frequently pass dead deer on the roads through Glencoe and always think it's such a waste. Are there any regulations preventing me from hoiking one into the back of my car? Bearing in mind that they are rather large and pretty heavy, what about being able to do some butchering by the roadside - obviously being sensitive to passing drivers? Could I just hack off a nice haunch of venison?

    OH is never impressed when I start waving the Swiss Army knife in the direction of the dead deer we pass.......
     
  2. Bernie Garland

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    Hi Madelenew

    The meat woulden't be that good, as in a road kill the meat has not been bled out,and the internel orgains could also have been burst tainting the meat, its edible,but only really good for your ferrets if you have any.

    Bernie
     
  3. Tadpole

    Tadpole Full Member

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    I think that “road kill rights” are just a myth, it you find a dead animal in the road and you remove it for your personal gain, it is classed as theft under the theft act. It is also “theft by finding” as classed by the Larceny Act, 1916

    A person steals who, without the consent of the owner, fraudulently and without a claim of right made in good faith, takes and carries away anything capable of being stolen with intent, at the time of such taking, permanently to deprive the owner thereof:

    Snip

    (d) by finding, where at the time of the finding the finder believes that the owner can be discovered by taking reasonable steps;

    In most cases, someone ‘owned’ the animal, or bred it for game sport, and in such cases to ‘take it’ is to deprive the owner of it. (a clear act of theft) some animals do not have owners, and as such are not covered by either act, however I think that they are covered by the various poaching acts and of course the Wildlife and Countryside Act, which, makes it illegal to take or possess almost anything wild, no matter however you came by it
     
  4. madelinew

    madelinew Tenderfoot

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    That's a really good point Bernie about bleeding out. I've found a pheasant before which was very fresh and I hung it in my shed for a couple of days. I had no idea what I was doing or if I needed to cut anything but it tasted fine when I came to cook it. On the other hand, a rabbit I found once wasn't so good and I suspect it's organs had burst.

    As for your comments Tadpole, good points too. And I can't find anything definitive about not taking what you accidentally kill yourself.

    I'll stick to gazing longingly at the wasted venison I think......
     
  5. madelinew

    madelinew Tenderfoot

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    I've also just seen a similar thread in another part of the forum and it appears that roadkill deer of the not quite dead yet variety are often dispatched with an injection of something nasty and left for collection. The something nasty is not too good for humans so I will be leaving well alone.
     
  6. match

    match Settler

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    Wild animals aren't classified as 'owned' unless they're specifically being farmed, in which case they need to be on land secured by fencing, so you'd not be likely to hit them.

    However, you have a limited sense of 'ownership' to wild animals while they happen to be on your land - thus if you wander onto an estate and kill one, thats theft/poaching, but if it leaves the estate of its own free will and wanders onto a road, then it becomes property of the owner of _that_ land- i.e the roads department.

    Legally, you could now be prosecuted for theft by the roads dept, but since they don't generally mind folk tidying the roads for free, they probably never would.

    The 'don't take it if you hit it' rule comes about from the explicit offence of 'driving deer' with a motorised vehicle - i.e chasing/killing deer with a motor vehicle is automatically an offence unless express permission has been sought from the land owner.

    So, legally you are likely to be ok to take anything you hit (apart from deer due to the driving offence, or protected animals like badgers), if you seek permission from the roads department to take their property away.

    However, the one major issue in all of this is that only people holding public liability insurance are allowed to deliberately kill animals on public highways, in case they get it wrong and the injured animal runs under /another/ car and injures the passengers. Thus you're definitely breaking the law if you find an injured deer in the middle of the road, and decide to dispatch it. You /could/ drag it onto private land next to the road and dispatch it there, but then of course you're killing an animal on private land without the owners consent which is poaching! :rolleyes:



    For the specifics on deer, see:

    Deer Act 1991 (England & Wales)

    Deer (Scotland) Act 1996 (Scotland)

    Humane Dispatch - Deer-Vehicle Collisions (UK Government Guidelines)
     
  7. match

    match Settler

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    I believe this isn't the case, since roadkill deer would likely to be scavenged by other wild animals (foxes, crows etc) who migth suffer if some form of toxin was used.

    I'm led to believe by the internet that a portable bolt gun is usual for these things by vets and road department tidy-up crews, not least as its cheaper!
     
  8. Oakleaf

    Oakleaf Full Member

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    Close link into the other thread regards how to despatch etc.

    Completely understand position of hard seeing things go to waste ( though fox, marten, stoat, crow etc etc wont waste it ). 'loss' on so many fronts heart rending when you consider UK deer RTA's are running at tens of thousands each year.

    Regardless of rules etc - and not condoning/ judging etc - no doubt many road kill carcases are 'harvested'.

    However, impact from large blunt object - ie vehicle, particularly if death was not swift does not tend toward producing good eatin' meat.

    Venison entering the food chain these days ( and appreciate this process is subject to controversy ) is subject to various checks and controls - from the Trained Hunter ticket through to the handling plant inspections etc. With roadkill, you've just bypassed a huge chunk of the protective process.

    Agree, rare for chemical euthanasia to have been used - and in such cases the carcase is supposed to be immediately removed or otherwise marked and rendered unusable. However, system remains more ad hoc than anyone would like and often the party despatching an animal is wholly separate from the collection team - delay could happen. Still slight risk, but a more likely scenario is a deer that has at some recent point had Imobilon or similiar used on it. Thereafter must never enter human food chain ( Imobilion treated deer accidentally released in Dumfries several years back ). Possibly even a freak untagged farmed deer that was treated with Dectomax ( 21 day withdrawal period ).( Red deer 'freed' by persons unknown from a Deer Farm in Moray about 7 years ago ).

    Part of the Trained Hunter requirement is to observe the live animal and report abnormal behaviour or even destroy 'at source' in some instances. Theres a plethora of reasons - but abnormal behaviour could well be why the deer got run down in the first place.

    There are just potentially ( albeit small potential ) too many unanswered questions about that roadside carcase.

    To repeat opening lines, I can fully understand - and share - sense of waste. None of the above a lecture - I save that for the courses! - just fact food for thought so people can make their own call.

    Hope helps.
     
  9. Roibeard

    Roibeard Member

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    In Ireland if the animal is a protected species like a deer or badger you need a wildlife dealer license to handle it. Otherwise its seems unregulated.

    I guess a deer hunting license would also work. It’s probably very different in Scotland.
    I don't think anyone really cares though whether or not you have license since so little people do it.
    In the united states though roadkill law is actully enforced and in some areas there is even roadkill waiting lists especially for bigger deer with decent antlers.
     

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