Benue State government has assured that the recently amended Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law which provided for stiffer penalties for offenders would also protect law abiding herders from cattle rustlers and boost animal husbandry in the state.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Samuel Ortom on Animal Husbandry, Alhaji Shehu Tambaya who made this known in a statement on Sunday in Makurdi commended the State House of Assembly for ensuring speedy amendment of the law.
He said the law was not targeted at any particular ethnic group but offered a win win situation for both animal rearers and crop farmers in order to ensure peaceful coexistence among the people of the state.
Alhaji Tambaya said: “The law as amended, is not targeted at any particular ethnic group as being insinuated in some quarters because it provides penalties for both cattle rustlers and crop farmers. It is no respecter of any person.
“This means that whoever violates the law will have to face the dare consequences. For instance, the fine for each impounded cow which used to be N2,000 only is now N50,000. So, you can imagine the financial implication if 10 cows belonging to only one person is impounded.”
Tambaya advised those in the habit of violating the law to have a change of heart warning that whoever contravened the law would face the music.
“That is why we are calling on livestock rearers to obey this law by ranching their animals if they must stay in Benue. Or else, they can freely move to other states where the law is not operational,” Tambaya added.
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