Search OCA
Get Local!

Elk breeders hope for best amid bad news

October 12, 2001 Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO) by Lou Kilzer
Giving away elk burgers during a chronic wasting disease scare might sound ambitious, but Colorado elk breeders are going to give it a twirl.

Visitors to Elkfest 2001 in Estes Park this weekend will be greeted with 1,400 free barbecue patties of farm elk, courtesy of the Colorado Elk Breeders Association.

"It is USDA approved," said Jan Forrest of the Anta Grande elk ranch near Del Norte. "And it's CWD negative." The meat will come from farm elk, some possibly from herds in which CWD has been detected, said Ron Walker, president of the breeders association. However, none is from an infected animal, he added.

"It's healthier than what you get when you hunt in the wild," Walker said. He said he expects long lines of people wanting to get a taste of "the healthiest food you can have."

Colorado's elk-farm industry is currently in a crisis generated when CWD was detected in seven captive elk. The state plans to kill and incinerate 1,600 captive elk to try to wipe out the disease and save the industry.

The problem is simple: CWD is in a class of deadly diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Its relative in cattle, called BSE or mad cow disease, is transmissible to humans. The discovery of BSE in Great Britain has crippled that country's cattle industry. BSE, though, has not been detected in the United States.

So far, CWD is different from BSE. Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta say there have been no known cases of elk or deer transmitting CWD to humans.

Still, many would prefer not taking any chances, which is what is hurting the elk farms.

The disease was first detected in a Division of Wildlife closed research facility in Fort Collins in 1967. It has slowly spread to wild deer and elk in northeastern Colorado, southwestern Wyoming and parts of Nebraska.

Elk from infected Colorado ranches, however, have been sold to other ranches in at least 15 states. Those animals are being tracked down and many are quarantined.


Home | News | Organics | GE Food | Health | Environment | Food Safety | Fair Trade | Peace | Farm Issues | Politics
Forum | Español | Campaigns | Buying Guide | Press | Search | Volunteer | Donate | About Us | Contact Us | Email This Page

Organic Consumers Association - 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN 55603
E-mail: Staff · Activist or Media Inquiries: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652
Please support our work. Send a tax-deductible donation to the OCA

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.
Please Support Our Sponsors!

Organic Valley

Organic
Valley

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

Dr. Bronner's
Magic Soaps

Botani Organic

Botani
Organic

Aloha Bay

Aloha Bay

Eden Organics

Eden Foods

Frey Vineyards

Frey
Vineyards

Intelligent Nutrients

Intelligent
Nutrients