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State investigating cause of hoof disease in elk herd


A disease that causes foot deformity and lameness in elk has spread rapidly throughout the Cowlitz River Basin, according to WDFW. State wildlife biologists, who have been unable to pinpoint the cause, will harvest elk from the area and two other unaffected areas to try and solve the mystery.

“The scientific literature suggests as many as 40 possible causes of hoof disease in domestic animals, ranging from bacterial infection to nutritional deficiencies,” said Dr. Kristin Mansfield, WDFW veterinarian. “We have to understand the cause of this problem in elk before we can have any hope of managing it in our state.”

Five young elk will be harvested from Pacific County this month and...

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