Usually when we hear the word "salvage" in the car world it brings to mind the dodgy vehicular leftovers after a wreck or natural disaster. But salvage has another meaning related to wrecks and natural disasters: it's the term used for picking up roadkill and processing the meat and pelt to be used for food or bait or profit. In Michigan it's necessary to get a salvage tag to process raodkill, meaning you call local law enforcement or the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), they provide the tag and then you go get the body. A bill introduced by State Senators Darwin Booher and John Pappageorge would eliminate that hassle, allowing motorists to claim roadkill immediately by writing down the time and place of the kill and then applying for a permit later with a phone call or e-mail.

The bill has passed the Senate and is now headed to the House. Booher said the driving force is simplicity: while getting a permit is easy and it's free, it can take so much time to receive that the meat has rotted. If the bill becomes law, all motorists would need to do is keep the piece of paper "until the game and its parts are consumed, are composted, or are no longer possessed," and be ready to show it to a law enforcement officer if questioned while they wait for their salvage tag.

The law wouldn't apply to all animals, though: a claimant would need a hunting license in order to salvage a dead deer or a dead bear. The DNR is against the bill, saying that permits needed in advance help it keep track of animal trends.

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