The Bayelsa State Government has impounded 44 cows for contravening the state Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing Law 2021 which prohibits open grazing.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. David Alagoa, while briefing journalists on Friday, January 21, said the cattle were impounded along the Imiringi Road, in Yenagoa the state capital.
He said members of the committee led by the Joint Task Force and men of the Operation Doo Akpo in a joint operation, raided the Imiringi road where they have received several complaints and impounded the cows in a bid to enforce the anti-open grazing law to the letter.
He said: “We did a raid on one of the farms. Normally what we do is surveillance, follow the trend of cows in given areas and then at specific times, we go and impound the cows.
“So we just impounded 44 cows. We’ve had a lot of cows impounded along the way. The owners will come and follow the law and in some instances some owners are arrested and are made to follow the law.
“In some instances we have done two impoundments a day, sometimes we’ve done one, just like today, and we are working very closely with Doo Akpo who are very supportive”.
The Commissioner, who is also the Chairman of the State Livestock Management Committee, advised Bayelsans against any confrontation with herders and urged residents to report the violation of the law in any part of the state to the committee.
“The committee is aware, we have been getting calls from a lot of people so we have told the communities not to take the laws into their hands.
“Just call us and we will come. We have been to several communities, we have meetings and plan together with them when to strike. Once we have identified that there is a challenge there we will get to it.
“We are working with the youth, we are working with the women in respective communities, we’re doing it together”, he said.
He further expressed displeasure about the attitude of herders in the state on grazing outside the designated areas, and promised to continue to impound more cattle until they restrict themselves to the approved areas.
“Cows are indeed ravaging farms and the annoying thing is we have provided a designated area for cows in the state.
“Bayelsa Palm estate is about 40,000 plots. So we’ve asked everybody, if you have cattle take it into the Bayelsa Palm there is enough grass there but they choose to ravage farms.
“We have heard a lot of horror stories from the communities, so we are not going to accept that. This is our task, and what the Bayelsa people expect from us. So, as much as possible we will continue to impound”, he said.