Abia State House of Assembly has passed the anti-grazing bill, which prohibits nomadic cattle rearing and grazing routes in the state.
Entitled “Control of Nomadic Cattle Rearing and Prohibition of Grazing Routes/Reserve Bill, 2018,” the bill seeks to control nomadic cattle rearing and prohibit grazing routes in Abia and for other matters incidental thereto.
The law provides that the entry of trade cattle into the state shall be by rail or by road haulage and further stipulates that movement of trade cattle to major towns in the state shall be by truck, trailers/vehicles or pickup vans.
The bill was sponsored by the immediate past Speaker of the House, Martins Azubuike, who represents Isiala Ngwa North Constituency.
Consequently, when the law comes into operation, it stipulates that any cattle found on any road in the state shall be impounded by the appropriate authority or taken to the nearest ranch as may be provided by the appropriate authority in the state.
The law, which makes provision for ranch, stipulates that any person that flouts it upon conviction is liable to a fine of N200,000 or six months imprisonment or both.
Speaking on the law, Speaker of Abia House of Assembly, Chikwendu Kalu, explained that the law was not only important to the farmers, but also to the entire people in the state.
The speaker, therefore, urged the security agencies in the state to ensure proper implementation of the law when it comes into operation to ensure peace and harmony in the state. He commended members of the sixth Assembly for their determination in ensuring that the bill was finally passed into law.
He said: “The law provides that the entry of trade cattle into the state shall be by rail or by road haulage. It also stipulates that movement of trade cattle to major towns in the state shall be by truck, trailers/vehicles or pick-up vans.
“The law also prohibits driving of trade cattle on hoof through any road or environs into the state. It also states that anybody found with the cattle on hoof through any road or environs in the state shall be guilty of an offence.”