There is no scientific evidence that chemicals cause this kind of disease in animals, and no link has been made between herbicides and hoof disease in any species that WDFW is aware of to date. Timber companies use similar herbicide treatments along the West Coast, yet elk populations in other areas have not exhibited the symptoms associated with hoof disease seen in southwest Washington. The University of Alberta and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) are currently examining habitat characteristics of the landscape and areas used by elk, which may help to inform our understanding of this issue.
WDFW continues to move forward as well. For more information and ongoing updates, visit the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/health/hoof_disease/ or check out the Wildlife Program Weekly Reports, available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/wildlife_weekly/.
4th of February, 2016