Copyright © 2013 Albuquerque Journal
An estimated 1,000 cattle on a drought-stricken ranch near Fort Sumner have become so emaciated that their owner has been charged with 25 counts of cruelty to animals and state officials are considering seizing the herd. New Mexico Livestock Board officials served a search warrant at the sprawling Double V Ranch on May 17 and found at least 25 dead animals and many others at risk of starving to death, said Tim Rose, district attorney for the 10th Judicial District in Tucumcari.
If a judge orders the seizure, the case would mark the first large herd seized by the Livestock Board, officials said.Officials do not have a precise estimate of how many cattle range on the 180,000-acre Double V Ranch, located about 25 miles south of Fort Sumner. Ray Baca, interim director of the New Mexico Livestock Board, estimates the size of the herd at about 1,000 animals.