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Osun governor signs anti-open grazing bill into law

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The governor of Osun State, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola has, on Wednesday, signed the bill against open grazing in the state, titled “Bill to Regulate Animal Grazing and Establishments of Cattle Ranches and Other Related Matters,” into law.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Ismail Omipidan disclosed this while speaking with newsmen.

Mr. Omipidan said: “Yes, the Governor has assented to the bill, it has become a law.

“Mechanism to enforce the law is already in place and the state will not allow anyone to abuse it.

“Osun is one of the most peaceful state in the country, this is largely due to our proactive steps in nipping issues, especially farmers-herders related, in the bud before it escalate.

“This is done through the state Committee on Peaceful Co-existence Between Fulani/Bororo and Crop Farmers.

“We have also educated fulani herdsmen in the state on the importance of the bill and we believe we will enjoy their cooperation”, he said.

The bill partly reads, “No person or group of persons shall rear, herd, or graze any livestock in any part of the State except within permitted ranches.

“Any herdsman or group of herdsman who graze herd or rear cattle or livestock outside permitted ranches after the commencement of this bill shall be guilty of an offence.

The bill reads in part: “Any person or group who contravenes the provisions of sections 3(1) and (2) of this shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable to a 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.

“Permits shall only be issued to a Nigerian who is authorized to conduct business under the Bill of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Preference shall be given in issuance of ranching permits to those within or near a district who are landowners interested in livestock business.

“Any herdsman or pastoralist who attacks or threatens to attack any farmer, person or commuter whether or not injury is occasioned by the attack shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than one year without an option of fine”.

The bill was passed by the House of Assembly on August 12, 2021, and transmitted to the governor for assent.

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