Coyote killing legislation threatens farmer's rare breed of sheep | KOB 4

Coyote killing legislation threatens farmer's rare breed of sheep

Kassi Nelson
Updated: December 03, 2019 06:52 PM
Created: December 03, 2019 06:47 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— A Belen farmer who has spent decades bringing a special breed of sheep back from the brink of extinction is worried about legislation that could threaten his hard work.

Donald Chavez has spent his life trying to preserve the New Mexico Dahl Sheep.

“My family can trace all the way back to Coronado, who brought these sheep here back in 1540,” Chavez said.

Chavez said his flock is at risk because of coyotes in the areas. He has seen an increase in coyotes since state lawmakers banned coyote killing contests during the last legislative session.

“All this business about coyote contests just errs on the side of coyotes. Well sheep want to live too,” Chavez said.

Dahl Sheep are recognized as a heritage breed, which means they play an integral role in New Mexico tradition. Chavez said he wants the state to do more to protect this piece of New Mexico’s history.

“Pass legislation that would create preserves for them that will provide some incentives for people that buy and keep these sheep,” he said.

Chavez has tried to reach out to the governor’s office several times, but has not heard back. He said he will continue his work protecting the sheep.

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