By Ogar Monday; House of Assembly Correspondent
A bill seeking the prohibition of open rearing and grazing of livestock as well as establishment of ranches has scaled through second reading in the Cross River State House of Assembly.
The bill titled; “Bill For A Law To Prohibit Open Rearing/Grazing Of Livestock And Provide For The Establishment Of Ranches And Livestock Administration, Regulation And Control And For Other Things Connected Therewith,” is sponsored by Honorable Regina Anyogo (PDP Yala 1).
And, on Wednesday during plenary, she said that the bill has become necessary due to the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen.
Mrs. Anyogo further stated that the bill which has proposed 36 chapters is being enacted; “to foster peace, unity and healthy living amongst residents of the state, be they herdsmen or farmers.”
She described it as “important,” due to the change in the dynamics of the relationship between the two groups.
The bill is co-sponsored by Honorable Fred Osim (PDP Ikom 1).
And, in his argument, he said that: “The bill is important for the safety of our people and the regulation of the activities of herders, especially the Fulani herdsmen.”
He argued that livestock rearing was a business and that the government had to at some point think of regulating that sector like it currently does to others.
On her part, Honorable Itam Abang (PDP Boki 1) disclosed that about 10,000 cows are killed daily in the south-south alone with no taxes paid, and that the people’s hospitality has been rewarded with aggression from the herdsmen.
She further posited that the bill will help in stopping the wanton destruction of lives and properties that has been a signature of the Fulani herdsmen.
The speaker, Honorable John Lebo (PDP Abi) in his remarks said that there is currently no law in support of open grazing, as what was hitherto obtainable was from a cultural practice and not for law.
He directed that the public hearing of the bill be held in a place and location where the farmers and those affected by the issues can easily attend.
CrossRiverWatch had reported that the governor, Senator Ben Ayade had said the state is contemplating a controlled grazing law.
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