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10 Jun 2016

Benue State Govt approves anti-grazing, ranching bill

Benue State Executive Council, yesterday, approved the Bill for the Prohibition of Open Gazing of Livestock in the state and Establishment of Ranches.
This bill, if passed into law, will criminalise the pastoralist activities of Fulani herdsmen and other open-ended range livestock farmers within the state.
The Council directed the state Attorney-General, Mr Mike Guda to forward the bills to the state House of Assembly for onward passage.
Meanwhile, the state government has insisted that the state has no land for grazing and is therefore opposed to the establishment of grazing reserves in the state.
Represented by his deputy, Engr Benson Abounu at a Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum on Grazing Reserves and Stock Routes, Governor Ortom stated that cattle rearing is a private business and so the federal government should not be bullish about acquiring grazing land for the owners who should be able as businessmen to source feed for their cattle.
He added that Benue state would support any policy taken by the federal government to quell the incessant land clashes but pointed out that such policy must be in line with international best practices and one that does not disadvantage people of the state.
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