Abia State Nigeria Lawmakers Pass Anti-Open Grazing Law

The Abia State House of Assembly has forbidden open grazing in the state by passing into law the Control of Nomadic Cattle Rearing and Prohibition of Grazing Routes/Reserve Bill, 2016.

Passage of this bill is coming less than 24 hours after the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, called for the suspension of anti-open grazing law in states where it is being implemented.

The state legislators asserted that the law would control cattle rearing and also seek to ban grazing routes within the state.
Armed Fulani Herdsmen and Abia State
Armed Fulani Herdsmen and Abia State
The Bill, which sought to control nomadic cattle rearing and prohibit grazing routes in Abia and for other matters incidental thereto, was sponsored by Mr Martins Azubuike, member representing Isiala Ngwa North Constituency.Passing the bill into law, Mr Chikwendu Kalu, Speaker of the State Assembly, urged the judicial arm of the government to ensure that there is a full compliance with the law.

Noting that the law is important to all residents of the states as well as farmers, Kalu expressed optimism that Governor of the state, Okezie Ikpeazu, would assent to the bill.

According to the law, entry of trade cattle into the state shall be by rail or by road haulage.

Also, movement of trade cattle to major towns in the state shall be by truck, trailers/vehicles or pickup van.

Defaulters of the new law would be liable to a fine of N200,000 or six months imprisonment, or both, upon conviction.

He warned that any cattle found on any road in the state should be impounded by the appropriate authority or taken to the nearest ranch as may be provided by the law.

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