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Oregon Road Kill Law


From the Washington County (Oregon) Law Librarian:

There are a lot of questions law librarians respond to that we would never, ever in a million years blog about, but others are, uh, fair game. This is one of them:

Q: Are there laws about road kill, what we can do with it, what happens if we come upon it, etc.?

A: Sources of laws and regulations:

1) Oregon Statutes and Regulations: look in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS), which are online and also in print at many public libraries (here and here) and also be found in regulations, which in Oregon are found in the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR).

Statutes and regulations are rarely easy to interpret and one seldom finds definitive “answers” in them, but they must be consulted. Try these for starters (examples only – not comprehensive!):

a) ORS 619.095, Donated meat from game must be inspected

b) Donated game meat can be served at a charitable organizations’ food facility if it has been inspected, ORS 624.165

c) ORS 496.690, Possession of wildlife as evidence of illegal taking

2) Often the best help with interpretation of laws can be found with the people who enforce the laws. In the case of road kill, that depends on the specific situation:

a) When the road kill is found in INcorporated areas of the county, contact the city’s code enforcement staff. If in UNincorporated areas, contact the county sheriff’s department.

b) The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Oregon State Police play a part in making and enforcing laws about road kill so you may want to contact them. Their websites are:

c) Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (click on their contacts tab)

d) Oregon State Police (click on their contacts tab)

B) Other sources of information

1) You may want to read some news stories. Your public or college library will have newspaper databases that can be searched, but here’s one story on the web: an article about an incident in Douglas county: Woman cited for deer possession

2) Another perspective might be found from animal law scholars and lawyers. Visit the webpage at the Lewis & Clark Center for Animal Law Studies

3) There is yet one more perspective on road kill. Road kill cookbooks sound silly or cruel or otherwise in bad taste, but some of their writers take the work seriously and view it as a public service or a way not only to clear the roads but as a way to feed people who might otherwise not have much food. Run an internet search on your search engine of choice using the words road kill cookbooks (or roadkill cookbooks)

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