With decades of industry experience, Alberta’s elk ranchers know what’s best for their animals. They are raised on spacious farms and given plenty of room to roam; they graze naturally and their diet is free of hormones and steroids; and they eat the grasses and plants they prefer.
When the quality and quantity of grazing drops in winter, ranchers will supplement feed with hay and other harvested crops. Other supplemental mineral feeds for ranched elk have always been free of animal by-products. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency continues to regulate high standards for elk feed even as it continues its improvements to other livestock feeds.
Alberta Ranched Elk is:
- high in protein, iron and B vitamins
- leaner than beef
- leaner than pork tenderloin or chicken breast (with skin)
- raised on natural feed – no antibiotics, growth stimulants, hormones or steroids
- All elk processed in Alberta undergo mandatory and rigorous testing before processing to ensure that only healthy animals enter the human food chain.
- Elk ranching is a government-regulated industry controlled under the Livestock Industry Diversification Act.
- Elk herds are regularly inspected and tested for illnesses such as tuberculosis and brucellosis.
- To ensure their elk are free from chronic wasting disease (CWD), Alberta ranchers comply with the Alberta government’s Mandatory CWD Surveillance Program.
- There is no evidence to suggest CWD can affect humans.
Alberta’s elk ranchers are committed to humane treatment practices because they know it’s in the best interests of their animals and their industry. Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Alberta government have set strict regulations for the practice of elk ranching. Elk are raised on spacious farms with plenty of room to roam. These free-range environments promote healthy and normal development. There’s no such thing as a “factory farm” in the elk industry!
- Elk graze naturally, and their diet is free of growth stimulants, hormones, and antibiotics. “If it doesn’t grow in the dirt, it doesn’t go into our feed.”
- Elk ranchers also adhere to the highest standards in Canadian agriculture today set out by provincial and federal governments. Alberta’s elk ranching industry is governed by the Livestock Industry Diversification Act. As well, the federal Elk and Deer Farming Guide outlines very specific animal husbandry guidelines.