Rep. Herrell defends cows; Sen. Luján back to work - Albuquerque Journal

Rep. Herrell defends cows; Sen. Luján back to work

U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell has a soft spot for some baby cows in southern New Mexico.

On Facebook last week, the Republican weighed in on the U.S. Forest Service’s plans to shoot and kill feral cows in the Gila Wilderness. Herrell wrote in a Facebook post that the Forest Service has already “slaughtered dozens of wild cattle.”

She posted two photos of a dead black cow in a waterway, lying on its side with its feet sticking out of the water. She said the picture was taken by locals.

“It is sad and infuriating,” Herrell wrote in a post, which received more than 200 comments, many from people who found the act cruel. “This method was inhumane, and risked leaving orphaned calves starving to death.”

Congresswomen Yvette Herrell. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

A federal district judge earlier this month gave the Forest Service the green light to shoot from helicopters about 200 feral cows that roam the Gila. The judge gave the OK over objections from the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association.

The federal agency took action because of concerns that the animals overgraze riverside areas, erode streambanks, harm water quality and degrade endangered species’ habitat. The Forest Service also said the animals have been known to charge hikers.

“It is yet another example of how Washington agencies run roughshod over local expertise and requests, especially for rural communities in the American West, who Washington bureaucrats consider an annoying roadblock to whatever policies the Feds wish to inflict,” Herrell wrote on Facebook.

BEN RAY ‘GETTING STRONGER’: U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján is back in Washington and working just weeks removed from suffering a stroke.

Luján on Thursday posted a photo of himself on Twitter, showing him sitting in a chair and doing some work with a New Mexico United shirt and just-buzzed haircut. He underwent brain surgery after suffering a stroke in his cerebellum on Jan. 27.

“Through the love and support from my family, medical team, and New Mexicans, I’m getting stronger each day in D.C. where I’m completing my recovery,” Luján wrote. “I’m thankful for the well wishes from folks across the country. I’m back at work and will return to the Senate floor soon.”

On Thursday, Luján was one of five Democratic senators who signed a letter to the chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, lauding the commission’s decision to require internet service providers to give its customers easy-to-read pricing information.

Luján said in a video posted earlier this month that he was planning to spend some time in an in-patient facility. He posted Friday on Twitter that he was leaving in-patient care.

“Next stop is out-patient care and getting back to the floor of the United States Senate,” he said.

Senators are not allowed to vote by proxy so Democrats could face difficulties passing legislation or sitting nominees during his absence.

TRUCKER AMNESTY: Herrell over the weekend compared Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s crackdown against an anti-vaccine protest in the country’s capital to “that of an authoritarian regime like Venezuela.”

The Republican congresswoman said she would introduce legislation to temporarily grant asylum to the protesters.

Canadian police in recent days have arrested hundreds of protesters who have swarmed the capital for weeks in protest of the country’s requirement for truckers entering the country and other COVID-19 precautions.

“Just as we provide asylum for political prisoners, we should do the same for truckers who have been subjected to violence, had their property confiscated, and their bank accounts frozen by a government that is quickly becoming the embarrassment of the free world,” Herrell said on Twitter. “I am introducing legislation that would temporarily grant asylum to innocent Canadian protesters who are being persecuted by their own government. We cannot be silent as our neighbors to the north are treated so badly.”

Ryan Boetel: rboetel@abqjournal.com

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