Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola has signed the bill banning the practice of open grazing in the state into law.
The state Assembly passed the bill to regulate animal grazing and establishments of cattle ranches and other related matters.
Voice of Nigeria reports that the Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Mr. Timothy Owoeye at the plenary had explained that the law will prevent the destruction of farms, crops through open rearing and grazing of livestock.
Oyetola’s spokesperson, Ismail Omipidan confirmed that the Governor signed the anti-open grazing bill into law almost immediately after the bill was transmitted from the House of Assembly to his office.
He said security agencies that will enforce the law in every part of the state have been notified, saying with the passage of the Bill, open grazing has become a crime in Osun state.
“Osun State is one of the most peaceful states in the country. We have had fewer challenges of herders invading people’s farms to destroy the crops or attacking farmers because we had in place a Committee on Peaceful Co-Existence between Fulani/Bororo and Crop Farmers led by Hon Mudasiru Toogun to foster peace between these communities.
“Before enacting this law, we have summoned stakeholders meeting to deliberate on the matter and we have enlightened the herders in the state on the benefit of embracing ranching system”.
Oyetola said the government has made provisions for the practice of ranching through the ministry of agriculture.
He stressed that the law will prevent killings, sexual molestation, protect the environment from degradation and pollution caused by open rearing and grazing of livestock.
“Any person or group who contravenes the provisions of subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to terms of imprisonment of not less than 3 years without the option of fine as well as forfeiture of the herds of Cattle or livestock under his or her control to the State Government.
He explained that the law also prohibits a minor from grazing, rearing, or herding livestock except under the supervision of an adult.
“A minor who contravenes the provision of Section 3 (4) committed an offence, and the guardian or parent of the minor or owner of the livestock as the case may be, shall be vicariously liable on conviction to a fine of N300,000.00 only.”
He noted that conveyance of livestock on foot from one destination to another in the State is prohibited, except by rail wagon or vehicles and which must be between within 7:00 am and. 6:00 pm.