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Judge OKs shooting of New Mexico wild cattle


A feral bull near the Gila River in the Gila Wilderness in southwestern New Mexico, on July 25, 2020. (©Robin Silver/Center for Biological Diversity via AP)

Judge OKs shooting of New Mexico wild cattle

Federal officials on Thursday began shooting cattle in New Mexico’s Gila National Forest. The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association and the Humane Farming Association had sued to delay plans of the U.S. Forest Service and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Federal officials planned to shoot an estimated 150 cattle from a helicopter in an operation lasting through Saturday.

Why shoot the cattle? The Forest Service says the stray cattle have been an issue since a rancher abandoned a herd in the area back in the 1970s. They say the herd has been trampling stream banks, polluting the water, overgrazing, and sometimes charging hikers. Ranchers argued in court Wednesday that the shooting was a violation of federal regulations and amounted to animal cruelty. Attorneys for the ranchers estimated 65 tons of dead cattle would be left to decompose in the wild.

Dig Deeper: Read Amy Lewis’ report in WORLD Magazine about a Christian community’s approach to tending cattle and other plants and animals in Australia.


Elias Ferenczy

Elias Ferenczy is a breaking news intern for WORLD. He’s a graduate of WORLD Journalism Institute and Covenant College.


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