Bovine Tuberculosis and Hunters

COVID-19 response: temporary closures

The Government of Alberta has temporarily closed front counters at all Fish and Wildlife offices across the province.

  • You can contact Fish and Wildlife offices using the phone numbers listed on the Fish and Wildlife - Contacts page.
  • For recreational sportfishing or hunting information, please visit AlbertaRELM or call the AlbertaRELM Help Desk at 1-888-944-5494.
  • Vehicle access is now permitted at parking lots and staging areas in provincial parks and public land. Facilities like playgrounds and washrooms remain temporarily closed. For more information, visit the Alberta Parks advisories page.

For more information about Alberta’s COVID-19 response, visit COVID-19 info for Albertans.

Bovine tuberculosis is a bacteria that can occur in some wildlife species, including free-ranging elk.

The bacteria generally are associated with thick yellow pus, either in lungs or lymph nodes. Internally, small round tubercles ("pearls") may be found in the lungs, liver, kidneys, or lymph nodes, or in the lining of the ribcage.

Learn more about bovine tuberculosis:

Precautions for Hunters

  • Wear waterproof gloves whenever you handle the internal tissues of your harvested animal.
  • Wash your hands, knives, and clothes in warm soapy water.
  • Cook meat well, until it is thoroughly cooked.
  • Smoking, freezing, or drying meat will NOT destroy the bacteria.
  • If you see any suspicious abscess in the lymph nodes, lungs, or chest cavity of your harvested animal, contact a Fish and Wildlife office at:
  • Talk to your doctor should you have concerns about your health.

Updated: Nov 10, 2016