N.M. rancher charged with 43 counts of animal cruelty

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Cruelty case involves 43 cows on lot

A New Mexico rancher is under fire after officials seized his herd of cattle amid allegations of animal cruelty.

KRQE News reports that officials with the New Mexico Livestock Board took 43 head of cattle that had been crammed into half an acre with little food and no water near Albuquerque, N.M.

"They didn't have no grazing area at all," said Ray Baca of the New Mexico Livestock Board.  "In fact my understanding is when they picked up the animals, that they didn't have any water at the time, or feed."

The Livestock Board has since charged Paul Byers, who owned the cattle, with 43 counts of cruelty to animals.

Despite efforts to rescue the animals, 20 cows died after developing a respiratory disease.

However, a man helping Byers with the case suggests there is more to the story. He says that Byers was in the process of moving his cattle after a dispute with the Bureau of Land Management. Click here to read more.  

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PA  |  May, 20, 2013 at 09:19 AM

Obviously this looks terrible for the rancher, but it's not clear to me who the "bad-guy" is here. The linked to article states that "Byers hasn't been able to keep them at his ranch since a dispute with the Bureau of Land Management." Half have died since being taken by the government and the rancher claims they were healthy before being seized. In an apparent attempt to explain why they died after being seized and not at the farm, a bureaucrat is claiming that: "Being in this small enclosure, these animals didn't have an immune system either," "They've never been out in the elements, so they were really prone for diseases." Never been out in the elements? I thought that was where they found them? An no immune system because of a small enclosure? Sounds to me like a case of a financially stressed farmer being forced to make poor choices by inept government officials.

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