The United States Forest Service will kill approximately 150 wild cows that inhabit the Gila National Forest in New Mexico, alleging that they “pose a significant threat to public safety and natural resources.”
The killing will take place shooting from helicopters in an operation that will begin this Thursday and will last until Sunday, according to a statement. The measure will be developed in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service program.
Gila National Forest Supervisor Camille Howes said in the statement that the decision to lethally cull cattle was a difficult one but “necessary to protect public safety, habitats for threatened and endangered species, water quality, and the natural character of Gila National Parks.”
According to Howes, the wild cattle that live in that area are aggressive towards visitors and their passage along the banks of streams and springs causes “erosion and sedimentation”, which is why this is the “most effective and humane way to address the problem”.
Following the announcement of this radical measure, farmers in the area are concerned about the possibility that the marked cattle may have been lost in the wild, since its fences were damaged by a strong monsoon season.
In this regard, the Forest Service pledged to continue working to remove tagged animals from areas where they are not authorized.
The New Mexico Livestock Producers Association, along with other organizations such as the Humane Livestock Association, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the US Forest Service and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in the Federal District Court, in an attempt to block the “cruel and inhumane” slaughter. (EFE)