Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been present in the wild for decades in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming. CWD can effect white-tailed deer, mule deer, and elk. Since that time, CWD has spread through some of the state’s elk ranches in 2001 after an operation with some infected animals shipped elk around the state. Since there is no vaccine for cervids, thousands of captive elk were slaughtered in Colorado to prevent spread of the disease.
Consumers are being warned not to eat some retail elk meat sold at a recent farmers’ market in Longmont, Colorado. State and Boulder County health officers issued a recall Wednesday for elk meat sold on December 13 at a farmers’ market at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. The meat comes from an elk found to have chronic wasting disease from a ranch in northern Colorado. Though the disease is thought to be harmless to humans, health officials still warn against eating meat from infected animals.
The elk meat was tested when the elk were slaughtered, but the results weren’t known until after the meat was sold. Even though the disease has been traced to one elk, the whole lot is being recalled. The meat packaging shows a USDA triangle containing the number 34645. The affected cuts are chuck roast, arm roast, flat iron, ribeye steak, New York steak, tenderloin, sirloin tip roast, medallions and ground meat.
The infected elk came from a ranch in northern Colorado and was purchased by the High Wire Ranch in Hotchkiss, which had the animal slaughtered. The High Wire Ranch had been quarantined, but later clarified that the quarantine was in effect at the ranch from which the High Wire bought the infected animal. The CWD infected elk was never released or at the High Wire Ranch.