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A Republican, a PETA activist, a hunter, and an environmentalist sit at a table. The dish of choice? Believe it or not: road kill.

Legislation allowing the consumption of road kill is increasingly common across the United States, a sensible, if nose-wrinkling, idea that has gained support from otherwise disparate camps.

Good studies on road kill are understandably scarce, but a 2007 report to Congress by the Department of Transportation estimated that 300,000 animals get hit by cars each year, noting that “most researchers believe that [such accidents] are substantially underreported.” (The DOT also reported that when a deer is struck, the driver pays, on average, $1,840 in car repair, $2,702 in medical costs, and $125 for towing and tickets.) Supporters see road kill as a largely untapped source of nutritious, ethically sourced food.

Montana’s legislature is part-time, and Steve Lavin (R., Kalispell) also works as a state trooper. He says he authored a bill on road kill after seeing demand for a legal way to consume it. Road-fresh elk or moose meat is often donated to food banks, he says, though the legality is somewhat dubious. The bill won 95-to-3 approval in the Montana house and will soon be considered in the senate.
Deer God!
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