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Emus Are Now Legal in Alaska

Emus Are Now Legal in Alaska

Great news, Alaskans: emu farms are finally legal.

The unusual bird, which can grow to almost six feet tall and weigh more than 100 pounds, can be harvested for meath, leather and oil. Emu farmers in the northeast have known this for a long time, but one Alaskan citizen wanted a bite of the bird for his state.

Back in 2019, Pike Ainsworth was inspired to raise his own emu farm. After successfully getting an egg to hatch, Ainsworth discovered emus weren’t on the Clean List — a register of livestock allowed in Alaska without a permit. Since then, the Alaskan has worked tirelessly to get emus on the list.

He was met with resistance from the Board of Game members who only address the Clean List every three years, and weren’t set to do so until this year. After years of preparation, Ainsworth was able to address the board and testified about the food insecurity many Alaskans were facing.

“Food security is an extremely serious issue, especially now during wartime and COVID-19, stores have been consistently out of food, the price of meat has skyrocketed, making red meat unattainable to most Alaskans,” Ainsworth told the board. “I have a proposal. I’d like to add emu to the Clean List.”

The proposal passed unanimously, and went into effect earlier this year.

Since then, Ainsworth has raised two emus and plans on getting more. On top of the health and food security benefits, Ainsworth said that emus just make great pets.

“They’re really a bonding animal, almost like a dog,” Ainsworth shared. “They’re so loving, they’re not dangerous creatures.”

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