Is it safe to eat elk with hoof rot disease?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question “is it safe to eat elk with hoof rot disease?”. As well, we will discuss what is elk, what is hoof rot disease, what is treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD), and other concerns about elk meat. 

Is it safe to eat elk with hoof rot disease?

Yes, it is safe to eat elk with hoof rot disease, as long the meat looks normal. There is no claim that hoof rot disease can affect humans.

What are elks and where are they from? 

Elk is a mammal animal from North America, but also from East and Central Asia and belongs to the species Cervus canadensis, also called wapiti. The elk are from the deer family. The diet of these animals consists of plants, grasses, bark, and leaves in the forest.

What is hoof rot disease?

The hoof rot disease is related to treponeme bacteria that causes digital dermatitis in animal production, like sheep, goats, and cattle. This disease is also known as treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD) and causes many problems in the dairy industry.   

What is treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD)?

According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the TAHD is very infectious between the elks and is characterized by infecting all elk, with no restrictions on old or gender. More about the TAHD is listed below

  • Can infect female or male;
  • Can infect old or young elks;
  • The infection remains on elks hooves;
  • The disease doesn’t affect the organs or the meat;
  • No vaccine can prevent the TAHD;
  • There is no effective treatment for wild elks.

How can the treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD) be spread?  

According to WDFW, the bacteria of TAHD can be spread into elk by the infected elks, as the treponeme bacteria can persist in humid soil. The WDFW recommends that hunters in known areas of TAHD should clean their shoes and tires to avoid the spread of the disease.  

How can I recognize an elk with treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD)?

If you hunt an elk and notice that the hoove has some deformities or lesions, there is a chance of this elk being with the TAHD. Usually, depending on the commitment of the TAHD, the elks can be found limping.

Should I report elks with hoof deformities or lesions?

Yes, you should report elks for the WDFW. Reporting these elks will help the department to better understand the TAHD behavior. Click here, to check the contact of the department. You can report elks with the following signs: 

  • Elks with hoof deformities;
  • Elks with hoof lesions;
  • Limping elks; 
  • Dead elks with hoof deformities or lesions.  

How does WDFW diagnose treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD)?

WDFW and the USDA National Animal Disease Center and other laboratories made the diagnosis of TAHD by collecting the hooves of elks. The aim of these is to get a better understatement of the TAHD and to try to control that, with solutions.  

How can I cook an elk with treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD)?

As the infection remains in elk hooves, if you cook the elk using good hygiene, it will possibly be safe to eat the meat of the elk.

What are the nutrients of elk meat?

Elk meat is considered low caloric and is a valuable source of B12 vitamin, B6 vitamin, niacin, minerals content, a lot of proteins, and low carbohydrates. About the minerals, you can find selenium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. To know more details, click here

What are the benefits of consuming elk meat?

As the elk meat is a valuable source of many nutrients, it will have many benefits to consuming elk meat. Below you can check some of them, but you also can click here to know more about the nutrients and health benefits of consuming elk meat.

  • As the elk meat contains a lot of protein, that helps the organism in different ways, as the protein is present in almost all reactions of the organisms; 
  • Help to weight loss as the elk meat contains low carbohydrates and a lot of proteins;
  • Boost the immune system as the elk meat contains a great amount of zinc, which is an antioxidant component;
  • Assist in the manufactory of the red blood cells, as the elk meat contains vitamin B12 and iron, preventing anemia.

What recipes can I make with elk meat?

As meat is consumed worldwide you can find many different methods of cooking elk meat. Well-made elk meat can match various side dishes. If you click here, you will find a recipe for an elk steak marinade.  

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have discussed the question “is it safe to eat elk with hoof rot disease?”. As well, we have discussed what is elk, what is hoof rot disease, what is treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD), and other concerns about elk meat.

References 

https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/diseases/elk-hoof Accessed: 05/01/2022

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elk Accessed: 05/01/2022

https://draxe.com/nutrition/elk-meat/ Accessed: 05/01/2022

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