SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The state of Washington says elk hoof disease has been found in animals in the Blue Mountains.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says a hunter in mid-January shot a cow elk in the Pikes Peak area in Walla Walla County and saw it had deformed hooves.

The Spokesman-Review reports the Washington State University animal disease lab confirmed that the elk had the infectious disease.

In April the agency confirmed the disease for the first time east of the Cascade Range. The disease was confirmed in Idaho in February.

The painful disease causes deformed hoofs which can make it hard for elk to walk.

The disease is reasonably controlled in livestock. But even if a treatment for elk is found, it would be difficult to deliver to free-roaming elk.

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