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U.S. Forest Service: https://www.fs.usda.gov/about-agency/contact-us ; USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack: [email protected]; U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico: [email protected]; NM Governor: https://www.governor.state.nm.us/contact-the-governor/

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PETITION TARGETS: U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, District Court of New Mexico

UPDATE (12/28/2023): Because of smaller herd sizes in 2024, the U.S. Forest Service has announced that they will not be utilizing helicopters to shoot wild cattle in Gila National Forest, according to news. Unfortunately, this does not rule out ground-based roundups of the animals. –Lady Freethinker Staff


Nineteen wild cows in New Mexico’s remote and massive Gila National Forest likely suffered slow and agonizing deaths after being cruelly shot down by helicopters — with their corpses left to rot where they landed, according to news reports.

The federal reserve encompasses nearly 3 million acres — including grazing allotments for privately-owned cows — but the U.S. Forest Service alleged that shooting an estimated 150 feral cows reportedly was needed to “protect public safety and biodiversity.”

The Forest Service reported the brutal gunning would be “humane” — despite that the shooting was from a distance, at panicked animals fleeing from the helicopter. They also claimed that leaving the dying and dead cows to decay in the wilderness wouldn’t cause pollution of precious waterways.

But at least two cows died and decomposed in the precious Gila River during last year’s aerial shootings — which massacred 65 defenseless cows over two days — according to the New Mexico Livestock Board, which also reported the animals had numerous gun shot wounds to their heads, necks, backs, and sides — likely leading to painful, prolonged deaths.

The shootings also likely orphaned calves left to fend for themselves who are not likely to survive, said the Humane Farming Association — which called the shootings “unadulterated animal cruelty.”

Over the 4-day hunt, 19 innocent cows lost their lives — simply for existing.

It’s time for the U.S. Forest Service to acknowledge that cows are sentient beings capable of feeling pain and fear and that aerial gunning is inherently cruel and to adopt humane alternatives that don’t cause the animals to suffer.

Sign our petition urging the U.S. Forest Service and USDA to NEVER AGAIN shoot cows from the sky and instead allocate resources toward more effective and humane methods of population control. We’re also urging New Mexico’s governor to continue speaking out against how this “management” was handled, and for the courts that hear lawsuits or requests to halt this gruesome practice to take opponents’ concerns seriously.