A reward of $2,000 is being offered by the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association (NMCGA) for information in the shooting of two calves in Grant County in mid-January, according to NMCGA President Alisa Ogden, Loving.
“We ask anyone who knows anything about this crime to come forward and do the right thing,” Ogden said. “No rancher can, or should have to, stand this kind of destruction of his livelihood.”
Rancher David McCauley, who runs his cattle south of Silver City, found one dead calf near water while driving through his pasture on January 16, 2009. When he returned with the livestock inspector for the investigation, evidence was found that another calf had been killed and hauled away.
“These were good sized calves, between 400 and 500 pounds, so more than one person had to be involved,” McCauley said. “Our pasture is all private land, but the county road goes right through it, so accessing the cattle was pretty easy for these guys.”
“If we do find the people who did this, it will let them, and others who might be tempted, know that they can be caught, that they can’t just get away with this sort of thing,” he continued.
This crime falls under the jurisdiction of the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB), which works closely with state and local police. “We are very concerned,” said Bobby Pierce, Deputy Director of the NMLB. “This would be prosecuted as a fouth-degree felony, and we take it very seriously. We were able to collect some evidence, but this kind of case can be very hard to solve.”
The reward comes from the NMCGA’s Theft Reward Fund, funded by member contributions, Ogden said.