Ethical Consumption: Would you eat roadkill?

A friend of mine that goes to Bournemouth University brought my attention to an unusual diet of roadkill amongst students in the University. As part of their degree course, students learn to skin carcasses as they are taught about butchering techniques from different periods in history. For this purpose, they procure roadkill like dead pheasant, hare, badger and even the occasional deer near the New Forest.

Many students claim that it is really tasty meat as roadkill is mostly wild animals which feed naturally and it also contains more nutrition than cultivate farm meat. They claim that it is not only a tasty way to eat meat but also a cheap way to get the best kind of meat into their diet.

Whilst eating roadkill has its green credentials, many animal experts think that caution is important whilst eating animals of unknown origin. The Environmental Health Officer for the New Forest District Council, said anyone eating roadkill should make sure they are aware of the risks they are taking. He said: "I don't think it's something that people should experiment with unless they are aware of the health of the animal and the condition of it. It's not something that we can condone and would advise people against it."

A Food Standards spokesperson added: "you can't be sure of the province of the animal - it's not illegal but you would not be able to place it on the market. People should obviously be extremely careful - there's no saying that it's disease free or anything, there are no prior checks on it. The risks are still there no matter where you get the meat from."

A lecturer in archaeology at the Bournemouth University School of Conservation Sciences said, "what happens after the lesson happens. But when correctly butchered and in a proper environment then of course it's ok. If it is an edible species then there is nothing wrong with it."