Skip to comments.Ranchers want border fence to protect cattle herds
Posted on 08/04/2006 6:46:42 PM PDT by SandRat
Back in the 1970s, it was a major event when a Mexican cow would wander on to the Palominas border-front ranch of Jack Ladd and his son, John.
But after tightened border security in San Diego and El Paso began to funnel illegal immigration though Arizona in the early 1990s, holes began to appear more regularly along the 10 miles of barbed-wire fence separating the ranch from Mexico.
The holes, cut by individual migrants or blasted out by fence-crashing vehicles, also created an easy passageway for cattle.
So, in an effort to keep Mexican cows out and their own cows in, the Ladds would devote an entire day each week to repairing the breaches.
About three years ago, they gave up.
"We'd start down in Naco and work west, but by the time we'd get to the end of the fence, the stuff we'd fixed would already be cut again," John Ladd said.
Federal authorities told him barbed wire was useless in stopping human traffic, and so the government was not interested in replacing it. During the past 2 1/2 years, Ladd said he has returned 468 cows to Mexico.
Then, last spring, he got a call from the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps offering to build a border barrier on the ranch.
"I told them, 'If you want to put up a barbed-wire fence with a vehicle barrier, let's do it,' " Ladd said.
In May, the Minutemen broke ground on 2 1/2 miles of a reinforced, five-strand range fence on the Ladds' 14,000-acre ranch.
And while the group's volunteers eventually ran out of steam and had to hire a contractor to finish the job, most importantly to the Ladds, the fence was completed.
"They put up a fence and it's working," Ladd said. "I don't have a lot of people coming through that area now, and I don't have any cows coming through."
Dr. Gary Thrasher, a Palominas veterinarian who specializes in cattle herd health, said stray cows are a major concern for ranchers on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
There are at least 30 serious health problems that can affect local herds, he said, and since most cows have not been exposed to all the illnesses, they haven't developed a natural resistance.
Furthermore, Thrasher said there are at least 10 foreign illnesses that pose a risk to local cattle due to unregulated human traffic across the border. Possibly the most dangerous is foot-and-mouth disease.
And because illegal immigrants from those countries cover most of their journeys with flights to Mexico City or Hermosillo, they arrive in Arizona within days of leaving home.
"The first time their feet touch the ground is here," Thrasher said. "And there's no customs agent asking them, 'Have you spent time on a farm?' "
Thrasher said a major foot-and-mouth outbreak could virtually destroy the livestock industry in the U.S., which makes it imperative for ranchers like Ladd to keep stray cows and illegal immigrants away from their herds.
Ranchers on the Mexican side of the border are just as concerned about stray cows and migrants as their American counterparts, Thrasher said.
In addition to the health risks, there are secondary problems associated with unreliable fencing, Thrasher and Ladd said.
Stray cows cost ranchers extra in supplemental feeds, which run up to $800 per ton. And when pastures become unusable because of human traffic, ranchers are forced to overgraze their few secure areas.
"Disease is a problem, but the inability to properly manage their herds will put ranchers out of business," Thrasher said.
Ironically enough, Ladd said, just a few years back, he had one of his sons build a fence to keep out the Minutemen.
But after the Minutemen launched their campaign in April 2005, Ladd noticed the flow of migrants across his land had slowed to a trickle. And he was impressed.
So when illegal immigrants began once again to cross his ranch near the end of 2005, Ladd was ready to give the Minutemen another chance, though he wasn't interested in the 14-foot, Israeli-style barrier the group was proposing.
Ladd feels frustrated when people see the group building a fence on his ranch and assume he is prejudiced against migrants.
What gets overlooked, he says, is the security of cattle herds, the principal concern of ranchers, which is jeopardized by a porous border.
"It's irritating because people don't understand all of the faucets being opened because of illegal immigration," he said. "These illegal immigrants come through, and everything else follows them right through the holes."
Borders and Cattle a return to yester-year...
But the Anti-Minutemen brigade said cattle fences don't stop people!
The federal government not enforcing laws at the border is an illegal adverse condemnation against property owners who own land along the border.
The federal government is allowing illegals to trash private property, terrorize residents, steal private goods, destroy fences and roads and interfere with the rights of private property owners to engage in lawful interstate commerce.
The fact that the federal government doesn't enforce the law is proof that the government is illegally using private land - eminent domain condemnation - to allow numerous harms against property owners by ignoring trespass by illegals
At the least, property owners along the border should file a class action lawsuit for $500 billion against the federal government.
I hate to be cynical, but perhaps there is an agenda here (or, more likely, several agendas).
The "ecologist" groups want all the humans to live in cities and not in rural areas, so this could be part and parcel of that program.
"But the Anti-Minutemen brigade said cattle fences don't stop people!"
Marine Inspector, cattle fence has never stopped people that want to go north. You know better then to suggest that it would.
Apparently it has.
There are over 200 illegals in the fields not far from my home right now--they all crossed "cattle fences" I have seen every bent and destroyed fence for 50 miles in all
n-s-e-w directions. Every rancher repairs damage and every ranch has many areas along their fence where illegal aliens climb through-under-over-and cut away the fences---NOPE!Sorry cattle fences do not stop one illegal alien, if they did there would be no illegal aliens that have come from Mexico through these fields into the U.S.
Is this 5 strand reinforced range fence stronger than typical fences that are designed to control cattle only?
I would think so.
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