County residents request livestock law

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

A Quay County resident has requested the Quay County Commission to enact a section of the New Mexico Livestock Law 77-14-5 that prohibits livestock running at large.

Christina Fleming presented a petition signed by 29 residents in the Arch Hurley Conservancy District that is required to request that the law be enacted.

“Most of the signers have livestock of their own, so it’s not anti-livestock, its pro-responsible ranching and farming,” Fleming said.

If the resolution is put into effect it provides an avenue for farmers and ranchers to seek civil action and reimbursement for damages that errant livestock may cause, Fleming said.

In her presentation before the commission, Fleming said, “Most owners are responsible and maintain legal fences, but requiring irresponsible owners to act in a responsible manner is overdue and critical for several reasons.”

• The first, because farming members of the irrigation district produce feed. “Why would some owners not want to respect the producers who supply them with feed?”

• The second, containment of contagious diseases.

• The third, Fleming said, was because “I believe we are at a place where we either hold each other accountable and continue on a path of localized improvement or continue to look the other way. If we continue to allow a few irresponsible people’s livestock to damage property, crops and the health and welfare of this area, we are making a statement that we are not committed to Quay County’s future.

The commission could not take any action on the request, but agreed it would put the request on the agenda for the next meeting.
In matters before the commission:

• A proposal to purchase the building at 216 E. Center St. as new home for the Extension offices, which are currently in the basement of the Quay County Courthouse, are moving forward, reported county manager Richard Primrose.
The county is expected to purchase the building for a cost that does not exceed its appraised value.

• A demonstration of proposed upgraded security features at the Quay County Jail was presented by Sierra Detention Systems of Golden, Colo. A preliminary proposal by the company was for about $135,000 in upgrades.

• A replatting of a section of the Ute Lake Ranch development was presented by engineer Lonny Phelps.