The Bayelsa State governor, Senator Douye Diri, has signed into law, a bill prohibiting open grazing of livestock and criminalising same. It is tagged, “Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law, 2021.”
While signing the bill into law yesterday at the executive chamber of the Government House, Yenagoa, Diri said it was meant to ensure a harmonious living between cattle dealers and other inhabitants of the state and forestall violent clashes being experienced in other parts of the country.
“Bayelsa State welcomes all and sundry to eke out their 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.
“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 the movement of cattle on foot from other parts of the country into the state and mandates inspection of livestock and certification by veterinary doctors at entry points into the state,” he said.
The law also stipulates that any herdsman found with arms, whether licenced or not, should be arrested. It also establishes a livestock management committee to regulate livestock activities in the state.
Diri said that by assenting to the law, any person found engaging in open grazing of livestock commits an offence and would be arrested and prosecuted with the livestock impounded.
The governor also signed into law the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law, 2021.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, while presenting the bills for the governor’s assent, said the livestock regulation bill was to prevent clashes between herdsmen and farmers.