Monday, October 04, 2010

Property rights, responsibility, and cattle

Property rights, responsibility, and cattle

Cattle keep wandering into an Albuquerque suburban neighborhood, and the residents don't like it.

They do have a right to not have other people's property trespass and damage their property, but I also think if you move into a cattle-intensive area you need to know what you're getting in to. It's like moving into the desert and complaining about sand or the lack of rain.

New Mexico "law" says it is the homeowners' responsibility to build a fence if they don't like having the cattle come in their yard. Regardless of "the law", common sense and decency would seem to indicate this is the better response than turning to government coercion. The ranchers should do all they can to prevent the trespassing cattle, and should offer to pay for any damages no matter what the "law" requires. It's the right thing to do. Turning to government is always the wrong thing to do.

When I lived in Colorado, the ranchers would drive their cattle down the highway past my house a couple of times a year. They had been doing so for generations. It would have been silly of me to move there and then whine about it. They tried to keep their cattle on the road, but since cattle do have minds of their own, they sometimes do things the humans responsible for them don't want them to do. Such as trot off the highway and into my yard. So what? I'm a big boy and if it was that upsetting to me I am fully capable of building a fence. And so are the residents of North Meadows.

(I almost tagged this post under "immigration")

Please help!

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