New Mexico

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Titlesort descending Summary
NM - Wild Horses - § 77-18-5. Wild horses; conformation, history and deoxyribonucleic acid testing This New Mexico law states that a wild horse that is captured on public land shall have its conformation, history and deoxyribonucleic acid tested to determine if it is a Spanish colonial horse. If it is a Spanish colonial horse, the wild horse shall be relocated to a state or private wild horse preserve created and maintained for the purpose of protecting Spanish colonial horses. If it is not a Spanish colonial horse, it shall be returned to the public land, relocated to a public or private wild horse preserve or put up for adoption by the agency on whose land the wild horse was captured.
NM - Wildlife - Article 15. Predatory Wild Animals and Rodent Pests The New Mexico County Predatory Control Act deals with predatory wild animals and rodent pests. On federal lands, the federal government pays for rodent pest repression. On public federal or state lands, the state and federal cooperative funds pay for rodent pest repression. On private land, rodent pest repression is based on voluntary cooperation of owners, but if the owner fails, after written notice, to destroy the prairie dogs, the state rodent inspector is authorized to enter the lands and destroy the prairie dogs at the expense of the owner. Any person who interferes with the rodent inspector is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $100 to $500.
State v. Cleve


Defendant was convicted of two counts of cruelty to animals, two counts of unlawful hunting, and negligent use of firearm. On appeal, the Supreme Court held that "any animal," within meaning of animal cruelty statute, applied only to domesticated animals and wild animals previously reduced to captivity, and thus, the animal cruelty statute did not apply to defendant's conduct in snaring two deer.  The court also held that even if the Legislature had intended to protect wild animals in Section 30-18-1, New Mexico's laws governing hunting and fishing preempt the application of Section 30-18-1 to the taking of deer by Cleve in this case.

WILCOX v. BUTT'S DRUG STORES, Inc.


In

Wilcox v. Butt’s Drug Stores

, plaintiff came into pharmacy to purchase her usual laxative for her show dogs when pharmacist recommended a different brand that ended up killing one of the dogs. The New Mexico Supreme Court held that although sentimental value was not appropriate when calculating the dog’s value, it found recovery not to be limited to market value. Factors such as breed, special qualities, and purchase price were looked at to determine value.

Wild Horse Observers Ass'n, Inc. v. New Mexico Livestock Bd. This case dealt with a determination made by the New Mexico Livestock Board that a group of undomesticated, unowned, free-roaming horses (the Placitas horses) were “livestock” and “estray” rather than wild horses under the Livestock Code. The Wild Horse Observers Association filed suit against the Board, but their claim was dismissed by the District Court. The Court of Appeals held that 1) the horses were not “livestock”, as they had never been domesticated and therefore could not be “estray”; 2) the Board had a statutory duty to test and relocate wild horses captured on public land; and 3) the Plaintiffs did state a claim that was sufficient to survive the motion to dismiss. Reversed and remanded for further proceedings
Wild Horse Observers Ass'n, Inc. v. New Mexico Livestock Bd. Plaintiff Wild Horse Observers Association, Inc. (Association) appealed the District Court's dismissal for failure to state a claim. The Association claimed that Defendant New Mexico Livestock Board (the Board) had unlawfully treated a group of undomesticated, unowned, free-roaming horses near Placitas, New Mexico as “livestock” and “estray,” rather than as “wild horses” under the Livestock Code. The Appeals Court concluded that “livestock” did not include undomesticated, unowned animals, including undomesticated and unowned horses; therefore, undomesticated, unowned horses could not be “estray.” The court also concluded that the Board had to DNA test and relocate the Placitas horses, and that the Association pleaded sufficient facts in its complaint to withstand a motion to dismiss.
Wild Horse Observers Association, Inc. v. New Mexico Livestock Board This appeal examines the protection afforded to New Mexico's free-roaming horses under NMSA 1978, Section 77-18-5 (2007). The New Mexico Livestock Board (the Board) appeals from a district court order granting declaratory and injunctive relief sought by Wild Horse Observers Association, Inc. (WHOA). WHOA brought an action for declaratory and injunctive relief against the Board and others regarding the status of horses corralled by a private citizen on private property. The citizen had initially complained to the Board about the free-roaming horses on her property and was told that the Board only takes possession of horses corralled by citizens. The citizen did so and the Board took possession of the herd, where it then posted on its website that the horses would be sold at auction. WHOA filed the instant emergency action, stating that the Board exceeded its authority and unlawfully treated the subject horses as estray livestock. The group sought a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing the Board from impounding or selling the subject horses. The district court granted WHOA's request for a TRO, thereby prohibiting the Board from taking any action with the horses. After a bench trial on the merits, the district court determined that the Board's actions to take possession and sell the subject horses were contrary to the Board's statutory authority, enjoined the Board from “further unlawful possession and selling” of the subject horses, and awarded WHOA costs and attorney fees. The Board appeals here, arguing that the horses were captured on private, rather than public land, and the district court erred in concluding them to be “wild horses." The Board also contends that the district court made findings of fact that are unsupported by substantial evidence, issued a vague injunction, erred in awarding attorney fees, and erred in refusing to impose an injunction bond upon WHOA. This court found no error with the lower court concluding that the horses should be protected as “wild horses” because the definition of that term does not depend on whether, at the moment of their capture, the horses were on land that is private, but instead depends on whether the horses generally roam public land. Therefore, the horses were not estrays. As to whether the Board should have conducted its statutory duties with respect to horses including history and DNA testing, this court held that duty does not extend testing of a wild horse if it is captured on private land. Thus, the district court erred in determining that the Board failed to follow its statutory duties under Section 77-18-5(B). In fact, the Board has no authority to test the conformation, history, and DNA of such horses found on private land any more than it does to take possession of and remove the wild horses from those lands. The court also found the injunction was not vague or impracticable and that the lower court did not abuse its discretion in failing to order an injunction bond. Ultimately, this court affirmed the district court's order to the extent that it correctly determined that the subject horses are wild horse rather than estray, but reversed the district court's determination that the Board should have acted according to its statutory duties under Section 77-18-5. The case was remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion and further consideration of attorney fees.
Willoughby v. Board of Veterinary Examiners


Donald Wayne Willoughby, D.V.M., successfully appealed the suspension of his license for 180 days at the district court level.  In an appeal by the Board of Veterinary Examiners, the Supreme Court found the Board's findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence based on an examination of the entire record. The Court stated that the trial judge substituted his own judgment in reversing the decision of the Board, rather than basing his reversal upon any of the grounds set forth in the statute. While the Court affirmed the order of revocation, it held that there no language within the Uniform Licensing Act that gives the Board the power to place the appellee on probation after the period for which his license has been suspended.

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