CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a problem that costs ranchers money and they’re sick of it.
Eddy County deputies say cattle are being stolen and killed, and it’s been going on for at least a year. Now, they’re banding together to try to catch those responsible.
“Who kills a small calf? It’s disgusting, it’s heartbreaking but it seems to be going on frequently,” said Sandy Wilke, secretary of the Eddy County Cattle Growers Association.
For more than a year now the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office has had a mystery on its hands. Cattle across Eddy County are being shot and then left to die.
“It’s just a tough deal to see someone randomly kill one for whatever joy they get out of it,” said Fred Beard, local rancher.
Wilke had a cow and a calf killed this year.
“The loss of one cow, over a ten year period, her and her progeny, is over $30,000,” she said.
This isn’t the only case. The sheriff’s office is also investigating dozens of cows disappearing as a result of cattle rustlers.
The Eddy County Cattle Growers Association, the sheriff’s office and the district attorney are meeting Thursday night asking for the public’s help.
“We have some leads right now and we’re working on them but we do need some help from the public as well,” said Deputy Chief Mark Cage, with the Sheriff’s department.
Cage has a message for anyone killing or stealing these cows.
“If you’re gonna be out there we will find you at some point in time we will find you and we will prosecute you,” he said.
The Cattle Growers Association has a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.