Bayelsa government impounds 34 cows for violating anti-open grazing law
The Bayelsa State Livestock Management Committee (BSLMC) has arrested 34 cows around the Bayelsa Palm area in Yenagoa, the state capital, for violating the state’s anti-open grazing law.
Chairman of the committee, David Alagoa, stated that the herders chose a convenient time in the night to graze, saying some of the cattle were seen grazing on farmlands.
Alagoa, who is also Commissioner for Agriculture, said the committee would follow the anti-open grazing law to the letter, stressing that the seized cows would remain in custody until the required fees were paid before they would be released.
“Over time, communities around the Bayelsa Palm have become open fields for cattle, as the herders move them around the area. Besides. They also move from Bayelsa Palm to the Swali slaughter and that tends to happen around 1:00 a.m.
“So, they chose a convenient time when nobody is around to monitor them. We have been monitoring their movement over time and we decided to do a surprise hit and that is why we impounded the 34 cows.
“We will follow the law. The law states that when we impound, a fee should be paid in the process,” he stated.
Also speaking, Agberebi Akpoebi, who is Special Adviser on Security to Governor Douye Diri, said the committee was working in synergy with its local government agents to ensure that the anti-open grazing law in the state was fully enforced.
“We were here as early as 2:00 a.m and we went around the state. We have local government representatives in the committee, who usually give us updates.
“So, if they see cattle grazing openly anywhere in the state, they inform us. We verify and take the necessary steps to ensure that the herdsmen do not embark on open grazing anymore. So, my office will give the necessary backing for enforcement of the law,” he said
On his part, the Bayelsa State Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of Operations, Aminu Alhassan, said enough sensitisation was carried out before the committee commenced enforcement of the law.
“Management of the situation is clear. We were all part of the anti-opening grazing law and we are conversant with it. We have sensitised everybody and the way we did it, even the least person in the livestock business was carried along and they are all aware,” he said.