Microscopic examination of tissues, including meat, from elk affected by hoof disease has not revealed evidence of infection, inflammation, or any other indication that the meat is unsuitable for human consumption. In every case examined to date, the disease has been limited to the hooves and the meat has been normal. Shipment to slaughter is a common recommendation for domestic animals that are severely affected by hoof disease, and hoof disease in domestic animals is not a condition that would cause federal meat inspectors to condemn the meat as unsuitable for human food. If the meat looks and smells normal and common sense and good hygiene are practiced during the harvest, processing, and cooking, then most likely the meat is safe to eat. WDFW is developing a safety guide for game meat to provide more information about this issue.
5th of September, 2013