The bill which seeks to ban the practice of open grazing in the state and regulate animal grazing and establishment of cattle ranches and other related matters was passed during plenary by the Osun State House of Assembly.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Osun State Governor, Ismail Omipidan while confirming the signing to journalists in Osogbo stated that the governor, Adegboyega Oyetola had signed anti-open grazing bill into law immediately it was transmitted to him from the State House of Assembly.
Omipidan disclosed that the state government has notified the security agencies to enforce the law in every part of the state adding that it is now a crime to practice open grazing in the state.
According to him, "Osun State is one of the most peaceful states in the country, we have fewer challenges of herders invading people farm to destroy the crop or attacking farmer because we had in place 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 stakeholder meeting to deliberate on the matter and we have enlightened the herders in the state on the benefit of embracing ranching system. We have made provisions for the practice of ranching through the ministry of agriculture.”
Omipidan revealed that the law when it takes effect will prevent killings, sexual molestation, protect the environment from degradation and pollution caused by open rearing and grazing of livestock.
Excerpts of the law states that, "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.
“A minor is prohibited from grazing, rearing or herding of 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 also noted that the conveyance of livestock on foot from one destination to another in the state stood prohibited, except such movement is by rail wagon, truck or pick-up van and is within 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.
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