Bayelsa State Livestock Management Committee has impounded 34 cows in Yenagoa, the state capital, over alleged violation of the anti-open grazing law in the state. The cows were impounded on Monday around the Bayelsa Palm area/Swali road in the heart of the state capital. Mr. David Alagoa, the state Commissioner for Agriculture who is also the Chairman of the Livestock Management Committee, said the seizure of the cows was made after a four-week grace for the movement of cows from Bayelsa communities, local government areas to the state’s Palm Estate where they were mandated to be involved in ranching.
He stated that the herders chose a convenient time in the night to graze, saying that some of the cows were spotted grazing in farmlands. Alagoa said the cows and their owners violated the state’s Anti-grazing, Rearing and Marketing Law which regulates the movement of cattle on the roads and streets of the state capital. He said: “We gave them four weeks’ grace to move these cows to the Bayelsa Palm Estate. But we noticed that some of the herders moved the cows in the night around 1am from Bayelsa Palm Estate to Swali and trampled on farmlands on their way. We surprised them on Monday and apprehended about 34 cows.
“We also met another herd of cows in a field feeding on corns and rice.
Before we embarked on this anti-grazing law, the stakeholders including Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association of Nigeria were properly consulted and informed that there will be a stipulated fine if any seizure is made by the committee.” Also speaking, the Special Adviser on Security to the Governor, Agberebi Akpoebi, said the committee is working in synergy with its local government components to see that the anti-open grazing law in the state is enforced. On his part, the Bayelsa State Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, DCP Aminu Alhassan, said that a lot of sensitisation was carried out before the committee started to enforce the law.