Bayelsa bans open grazing, to arrest armed herdsmen

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The Bayelsa State Government has banned open grazing in the state, according to a Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law 2021 assented to on Wednesday by the state governor, Douye Diri.

Mr Diri who gave his assented to the bill at the Executive Chamber of Government House, Yenagoa, said the essence of the law is to ensure harmonious living between cattle dealers and other inhabitants of the state and to forestall violent clashes being experienced in other parts of the country.

“Bayelsa welcomes all and sundry to eke out a living legitimately. The people of Bayelsa want to have a mutual and harmonious relationship with non-natives and natives,” he said, adding that: “The essence of the law is to avert and forestall any clash between herdsmen, farmers, natives and non-natives as experienced in some states.

The law, according to the governor, stipulates that any herdsman found with arms, whether licensed or not, should be arrested.

He also said that the law established a livestock management committee which includes the Commissioner for Agriculture, security agencies and youth, with the sole aim of regulating livestock activities in the state

“From the commencement of the law, no person shall breed, rear or trade in livestock in the state in any other place as may be designated by the committee and approved by the state government.

“The law prohibits movement of cattle on foot from other parts of the country into the state, inspection of livestock and certification by veterinary doctors at entry point into the state among others,” he said.

The governor also signed into law the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law 2021, explaining that it is aimed at preventing certain harmful practices against women and children.