Cattle growers voice concern about potential threats to livestock

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Cattle ranchers and producers from Quay and surrounding counties voiced their concerns on Sunday night in Tucumcari about the Mexican wolf, the proliferation of feral hogs and other issues that could affect their livestock and livelihood.
About 40 ranchers and those in affiliated industries met at regional meeting of the New Mexico Cattle Growers� Association.
There is concern that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife agency will expand its recovery program of the Mexican gray wolf which would endanger livestock, said Caren Cowan, executive director of the association.
In addition to wolves, ranchers said they were concerned about the growing number of feral hogs which carry diseases that can infect and kill livestock.
A female hog can have two litters annually, with up to 12 pigs in each litter.
New state agency regulations could also affect ranchers�, as well as the farmers�, ability to work their land, Cowan said.
The state�s Environment Department and larger city air quality control boards are looking at the adoption of �clean air� standards for vehicles similar to California�s emission standards, Cowan said.
If those regulations are approved, and in particular �by reference,� it would limit the number and kind of pickups needed to do ranch work, she said.
Not only would the rancher be at risk, but also truck dealerships, Cowan said.
Also anytime, California passed a regulation it could trigger an update in New Mexico�s laws if a �by reference � clause were adopted, she said.
Others issues covered included proposed regulations for oil pits and a caution about the amount of water used from wells versus that permitted.