Bayelsa State bans open grazing, declares arrest of armed herdsmen

The Governor of Bayelsa state has signed the Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law 2021 into law, prohibiting open grazing of livestock in the state.

The state Governor, Governor Douye Diri, who signed the bill into law at Government House, Yenagoa, said its significance was to ensure a harmonious relationship between non-natives and other residents of the state and to forestall clashes between herdsmen as experienced in other parts of the country.

Diri explained that the law stipulated that any herdsman found with arms, irrespective of them having a license or not, should be arrested. Similarly, he added 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.

β€œFrom 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.

Furthermore, he declared that by signing the law, any person found engaging in open grazing of livestock on foot is assumed to have committed an offense hence, would be arrested and 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.


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