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Impound livestock engaged in open grazing, Ortom orders guards

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Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has ordered the state Livestock Guards to impound herd of cattle seen openly grazing in the state.The Governor, who gave the charge yesterday, in Makurdi, while inspecting impounded cows at the quarantine unit of the state’S Ministry of Agriculture, said enforcement of the ranching law would continue to enable those who wish to do livestock business comply with its provisions.

He said there had been influx of armed herdsmen with large herds of animals into the state, despite the high level of awareness to the existence of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.

Ortom said several herds of cattle had been impounded and quarantined in other local councils in the state, pointing out that trucks had been acquired to help Livestock Guards convey impounded livestock from long distances to quarantine units for safe-keeping. He described the influx of the armed herdsmen as life-threatening, saying such would not be condoned by his administration.

Ortom said over 400 herders had been arrested and were being prosecuted at various stages, pointing out that herders destroyed farm produce.He insisted there was no intention to repeal the ranching law, stressing that ranching remained the global best practice of animal husbandry, and urged Nigerians to key into it with a view to ensuring peace between herdsmen and farmers.

Meanwhile, the State Commander, Livestock Guards, Mr. Linus Zaki said his men had arrested three herdsmen during the recent operations. Zaki added that 214 cattle were impounded in Ukum Local Council, 69 in Logo, 219 in Guma, 96 in Makurdi and 16 in Gwer West Local Council.

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