Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has signed a law which makes open grazing in the state an illegal act.
The law titled Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law 2021 also stipulates that any herdsman found with arms, whether licensed or not, should be arrested.
Governor Diri signed the bill on Wednesday at the Executive Chamber of Government House, Yenagoa.
He said the essence of the law was 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.
His words: “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.
“The essence of the law is to avert and forestall any clash between herdsmen, farmers, natives and non-natives as experienced in some states,” he said.
He said that the law 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.
“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.
Diri said that 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.
He explained that the law was to prevent certain harmful practices against women and children.
He said with its enactment, Bayelsa has domesticated the Federal law, which had been in existence.
In his remarks, 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.
Also giving an insight into the VAPP Bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Tare Porri, the Speaker said the aim was to eliminate violence against women and to also ensure speedy dispensation of justice.