Bayelsa bans open grazing, orders arrest of armed herdsmen

March 11, 2021
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Bayelsa State Government has signed the Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law 2021 into law, prohibiting open grazing of livestock in the state.

Governor Douye Diri who signed the bill into law at Government House, Yenagoa, said its essence was to ensure harmonious living between cattle dealers and other residents of the state and to forestall farmer-herder clashes being experienced in other parts of the country.

“Bayelsa State 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. The essence of the law is to avert and forestall any clash between herdsmen, farmers, natives and non-natives, as experienced in some states of the country.”

He explained that the law stipulated that any herdsman found with arms, whether licenced or not, should be arrested, adding that the law also established a livestock management committee to regulate livestock activities in the state.

Members of the committee include the Commissioner for Agriculture, security agencies and youths, among others.

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

“The law also 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 points into the state, among others,” he stated.

Diri said by signing the law, any person found engaging in open grazing of livestock on foot would have committed an offence and would be arrested, prosecuted, while the livestock would be impounded.

The governor also signed into law the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law 2021, saying the law was to prevent certain harmful practices against women, girls and children.

While presenting the bills for the governor’s assent, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Abraham Ingobere, said the livestock regulation bill was to prevent clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

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