The Bayelsa State Livestock Management Committee (BSLMC) has seized no fewer than 34 cows in Yenagoa, the state capital for allegedly contravening the state’s grazing law.
This development came after the state Governor, Douye Diri signed into law the Livestock Breeding and Marketing Regulation Bill, 2021 in March after passage by the House of Assembly, that “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 Chairman of the committee and Commissioner for Agriculture, David Alagoa, confirmed that the cows were seized on Monday around the Bayelsa Palm area of Yenagoa, the state capital, adding that the herders chose a convenient period of the night to engage in grazing of their cows.
The commissioner said, “There is also movement by trekking around the Bayelsa Palm to the Swali Slaughter. That tends to happen at about 1 am in morning. So, they chose a convenient time to graze when there is nobody around.
Alagoa who also doubles as Commissioner of Agriculture in the state said the committee would follow the anti-open grazing law to the letter. He maintained that the impounded cattle would remain in the custody of the committee until the herders paid the prescribed fine.
He was, however, silent on whether or not the herders were also arrested for prosecution as prescribed by the law.
“We have been monitoring their movements and we decided to surprise them on Monday. We were able to impound 34 cows last night; we are going to follow the law. The law states that we impound and there is also a fee to be paid for trespass.”