HERSDMEN: Benue Government Goes Tough, Impounds 105 Cows
Benue State does not want to take chances now that the year is ending and Harmattan is here.
Herders are taking their animals around, looking for greener pasture.
But the State, which has suffered attacks on communities by persons alleged to be herdsmen, is not ready to accommodate such attacks again.
The state government had established a law stopping herdsmen from taking their animals on open grazing, with some personnel brought together to enforce the law.
However, caution had been thrown in the wind this Christmas and the Benue State Livestock Guards acted swiftly before something terrible happened.
At least 105 cows and four sheep have been impounded.
The animals were caught grazing openly near Akawe Torkula College of Advanced and Professional Studies, Makurdi.
Confirming the development, Commander of the Livestock Guards, Linus Zaki, said one herder, Kunje Saija, was also arrested in the course of the operation.
He explained that in accordance with the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, the impounded cows would be quarantined for seven days.
He added that the animals would be auctioned, if the owners failed to pay the fines stipulated by the law.
Mr Saija also warned herdsmen against the consequences of flouting the law, stressing the need for ranching of all forms of livestock in the state.
Governor Samuel Ortom had recently restated the commitment of the government to fully implement the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
The governor had also emphasised that anyone who violated the law would be prosecuted.
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