Let’s summarize this recent legislative activity (details below): we will continue to allow people to attach razor blades to roosters to fight to the bloody death. We will allow anyone to kill cougars indiscriminately. We will hand over public wildlife for easy slaughter and the profit of a few (including a Senator). mjh
ABQjournal: 2 Cockfighting Bans May Die By Kate Nash, Journal Capitol Bureau
Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, said … “To do away with cockfighting is to do away with a major part of our culture, of our Hispanic heritage,” he said. … [mjh: supporters include Ed Lowry, Ray Westall, Wilford Brimley]
Sen. Mary Jane Garcia, D-Do?a Ana, a sponsor of one of the bans, said … she doesn’t consider cockfighting part of her Hispanic culture. …
Cockfighting is already illegal in 13 of the state’s 33 counties and in 29 cities.
A fall 2004 Journal poll of 402 registered voters statewide showed that two-thirds of registered voters surveyed would support a law banning cockfighting in New Mexico. …
“There’s an undeniable link between children who witness violence and their participation in it later in life,” said Bill Jordan of New Mexico Voices for Children. “We need to break the cycle of violence.”
SANTA FE? Cougars could be shot on sight under a proposal headed to the House for a vote.
The bill, backed by livestock growers, was endorsed Tuesday by the House Government and Urban Affairs Committee.
It would take the cats? also called mountain lions or pumas? off the list of big-game animals whose hunting is regulated by the state Game and Fish Department.
Rep. Brian Moore, R-Clayton, the bill’s sponsor, told the panel it could help balance the deer population, prevent losses by ranchers and provide more protection for children and pets. …
The bill would take away the Game and Fish Department’s ability not only to set hunting limits, but to monitor and manage the cougar population, she said.
“The mountain lion population is a valuable resource to the state,” former department director Bill Huey said in a letter that was read to the committee.
The declining number of deer is a problem throughout the West, and there is no single cause for it, said Huey, who opposed the legislation.
REMOVE COUGARS FROM REGULATED GAME LIST
Sponsor: Brian K. Moore
Current Location: House Government & Urban Affairs]
ABQjournal: Game Parks’ Size May Rocket By Jeff Jones, Journal Staff Writer
SANTA FE? New Mexico ranchers could build high fences around massive swaths of private land and claim the state-owned wildlife inside as their own if a bill moving through the state Senate becomes law, a conservation group leader said Tuesday.
“The language is very innocuous. . . (But) it privatizes our public’s wildlife,” said New Mexico Wildlife Federation president Oscar Simpson.
The measure by Sen. Timothy Jennings, D-Roswell, would dramatically increase the legal size limit on so-called game parks, where hunters pay big money to shoot fenced-in game animals. …
Jennings, a rancher and member of the finance committee, appeared to suggest he might be interested in starting a game park of his own. …
Under current New Mexico law, individual game parks can be no larger than 3,200 acres. Jennings’ bill would boost the maximum legal acreage of a private game park to 20,000 acres, or about 31 square miles.
The owners of game parks normally stock their enclosures with game animals purchased from breeders. They then charge a fee to people who want to shoot the animals as trophies.
A Legislative Finance Committee report said Jennings’ original bill would “allow private landowners to fence in significant numbers of state owned wildlife and convert them to private ownership.” …
Many hunters object to game parks, questioning the ethics of shooting an animal behind a game-proof fence of any diameter.
INCREASE GAME & FISH PARKS MAXIMUM ACREAGE
Sponsor: Timothy Z. Jennings
Current Location: Senate Finance Committee]