A bill seeking to ban open grazing and regulate the business of livestock breeding and marketing in Bayelsa State, will be passed into law on Wednesday.
Tonye Isenah, Chairman of the House of Assembly Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Trade, Industry and Investment, Environment, and Security disclosed this on Monday in Yenagoa during a public hearing organised by the committee.
The public hearing followed the assembly’s successful first and second reading of the bill titled “Livestock Breeding and Marketing Regulation Bill, 2021”.
Mr Isenah, a former speaker of the House, said Governor Douye Diri would sign the bill into law, latest on Friday this week, after its passage by the House.
He explained that the purpose of the public hearing was to get the views of other ‘stakeholders’, in order to enrich and strengthen the bill to become an efficient law in the state.
He promised that inputs made during the public hearing would be harnessed by the committee.
“We want to assure that this week, the committee will sit tomorrow (Tuesday), prepare our report and submit it to the House on Wednesday.
“And that Wednesday it will undergo ‘expeditious’ passage, then on Thursday or Friday, the governor should be able to sign the bill into law so that we can live as human beings,” he said.
Among the groups that made presentations on the bill were the cattle rearers and butchers’ associations, farmers and vegetable growers, civil society organisations, and traditional rulers.
Others were the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ijaw Youth Council and Association of Local Government of Nigeria.
The Leader of the House, Monday-Bubou Obolo, who is the sponsor of the bill, said the bill was very essential because the government has a constitutional duty to secure lives and property through proper legislated regulations.
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He said the bill when passed into law would “prevent herders-farmers clashes and also prohibit movement of livestock on foot and possession of firearms, but will allow the use of trucks to convey livestock.”
Mr Obolo, also a former speaker of the House, said the bill had proposed the establishment of a Livestock Management Committee to be chaired by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“Government has the responsibility to secure lives and property. Therefore, the government has a duty to regulate livestock breeding and marketing in the state.
“Though the constitution provides for freedom of movement, it does not include livestock.
“Livestock is not human. The bill ensures registration for permit with the committee, which is empowered to impound roaming livestock and impose fees and other measures,” Mr Obolo said.
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