From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has signed into law the Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law 2021 which bans open grazing in the state.
The law also prohibits herdsmen from bearing arms and makes provisions for the arrest and prosecution of herders found with weapons.
It also establishes a livestock management committee which has as members the Commisisoner for Agriculture, security agencies and youths to regulate livestock activities in the state.
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 points into the state among others.
A press statement from Diri’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, stated that the governor signed the bill into law on Wednesday at the Executive Chambers of the Bayelsa State Government House
The statement quoted Diri to have said the essence of the law is to ensure harmonious living between cattle dealers and other inhabitants of the state and to forestall the violent 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. 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 statement read.
Governor Diri said by assenting to the law, any person found engaging in open grazing of livestock on foot 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. The governor, who noted that the law was to prevent certain harmful practices against women and children, explained that with its enactment Bayelsa has domesticated the federal law, which had been in existence.
In his remarks, the Speaker of the Bayelsa House of Assembly, Rt Hon Abraham Ingobere, said the VAPP Bill, which was sponsored by Hon Tari Porri, is to eliminate violence against women and to also ensure speedy dispensation of justice.