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Last Modified: March 1, 2023

How to Get Rid of Roadkill

Published on August 22, 2015 • Last updated March 1, 2023 by Ken Christensen
Topics: Being Safe in Utah (General Safety), Car Accidents

Deer lies dead in the dirt.

Deer lies dead in the dirt.

Roadkill is never a pleasant sight. The longer it sits on the road, the nastier it gets. If left long enough, roadkill begins to stink, especially if the animal is large. No one wants to see such carnage on a daily commute.

If you happen to live near the site of a piece of roadkill, you will have even more reason to clear the stench as quickly as possible. You can help yourself, your neighbors, and fellow drivers by ensuring that roadkill is taken care of as quickly as possible.

Who to Call

Depending on where the roadkill is hit, cleanup can be the responsibility of the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) or the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR). Local animal control usually takes care of domesticated animals and small animals. If you see a dead animal on the road, you can call your local county dispatch and they will direct your report to the correct department.

If you don’t know the number for your dispatch, you can call 911 to report a large carcass, but be sure to be clear that you do not have an emergency. If the roadkill is a large animal on a busy road, you’ll want to report it immediately because it is a hazard for drivers.

Do it Yourself

Local governments cannot always make roadkill collection a priority, so if it becomes an issue, you should know how to clean up small animals yourself. Clean up the animal as soon as possible, even though it may seem unappealing. The longer the animal sits on the road, the more time it will have to rot. We have all seen carnage on the road. It will begin to stink up your neighborhood if it is not taken care of quickly. Do your neighborhood a favor; take care of the problem as soon as possible.

To clean up small roadkill you will need gloves, a heavy garbage bag, and a shovel. Put on the gloves, scoop up the roadkill with the shovel, then put it in the garbage bag.

Minimize your contact with the animal. Wild animals can carry diseases even when they are alive, and rotting carcasses are even less sanitary. It would be wise to double-bag the remains, and perhaps take the animal straight to the dump or a public collection dumpster for more immediate collection.

If You Hit an Animal

Do not leave an animal that you hit on the road, especially if it is big one. Call to report collisions with large animals so the UDOT or DWR can remove the carcass quickly. A police report may also be necessary for your insurance to cover any damages to your vehicle.

If the animal is large and the meat is not spoiled, the state may even donate the fresh meat to people in need. If the animal is small and if it is safe for you to do so, you should consider removing the animal yourself, at least as far as the shoulder of the road. Notify owners if you kill a domesticated animal.

Photo copyright to Louis


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