If you want an elk sandwich, you need to harvest an elk, right? Well, not exactly. If you live in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado, the fast food chain Arby’s has a new elk sandwich on the menu – and hunters are not too happy about it. In fact, the Montana Wildlife Federation (MWF) recently sent a letter to Arby’s corporate office, asking that they not allow the sale of this sandwich as it goes against Montanans view on farm-raised game.
The limited-edition elk sandwich will be available in three restaurants on Saturday, Oct. 21. That same day, venison sandwiches will be on the menu in all 3,300 restaurants across the country. Arby’s Chief Marketing Officer Jim Taylor told USA Today that the sandwiches will be available only as supplies last and that the franchise anticipates that they will sell out quickly.
Yet, MWF doesn’t think Arby’s understands why it’s a bad idea to sell farm-raised game anywhere, particularly in Montana where voters “pass[ed] an initiative in 2000 to prohibit game farms in the state” because these farms “can harm wild elk by spreading chronic wasting disease,” Montana Public Radio reports. These “wild” menu items are a direct contradiction to what many Montanans value.
"That’s really a core Montana principle, that wildlife is free ranging and part of the public trust," MWF’s Conservation Director Nick Gevock told Montana Public Radio.
Arby’s uses a New Zealand supplier that sells grass-fed free-range venison. The elk sandwich, according to Taylor, is available based upon demand from “hunters and wild game enthusiasts.”
“We took a look at what hunters and wild game enthusiasts love to talk about eating and elk was something that kept popping up, and we said, ‘this is another great tasting game meat we think our guests would enjoy it,’” says Taylor.
The elk sandwiches will be available at the following Arby’s restaurants, starting tomorrow:
200 East 1444th Ave., Thornton, Colorado 800232607 CY Ave., Casper, Wyoming 826042834 King Ave. W, Billings, Montana 59102
Will you support MWF’s stance against farm-raised elk and venison or do you plan on giving the sandwiches a try?