By Maggie Thurber | For Ohio Watchdog
Ohio motorists soon will be able to claim their roadkill and take home the pork under a new provision OK’d by the state House of Representatives.
H.B. 199 was approved by a 94-1 vote Wednesday. It allows any driver who hits and kills a feral hog, wild boar, or a wild turkey to keep the animal. They just need to report it to a wildlife or law enforcement officer within 24 hours. Deer are covered by a similar provision.
Sponsored by state Rep. Bob Hackett, R-London, and state Rep. Tony Burkley, R-Paulding, the measure also adds feral hogs to the game list, which means the state can establish a hunting season and set bag limits on the animals.
Dishing up a number of puns while urging support, Burkley said Ohioans won’t have to wait for road crews or buzzards to clean up the roads, adding that the cost of repairing any damage to a vehicle caused by hitting a hog “would be offset somewhat by the additional food that may be placed on the table, so you can say it’s for the kids.”
The one person not amused was Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria, who cast the lone vote against the measure.
“I don’t know how to tell someone with a straight face that you spent time on a road kill bill,” he said. “I might have been the only one without a sense of humor that day.
“I feel that we have far too many Ohioans out of work and too many children living in poverty for us to be taking up an issue like this,” Lundy said. “Our focus should be on getting people back to work and putting food on the table.”
But wouldn’t this put food on the table since it would add another animal to the game hunting list?
“The major thrust of the bill is to take possession of the road kill, not the emphasis on adding it to the hunting list,” Lundy said. “I would venture to guess that most people would not take us seriously if we asked them if this bill was a wise investment of our time.”
The bill goes to the Senate for consideration.