The Benue State Livestock Guards yesterday impounded 90 cows for contravening the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of the state.
State Commander of the Livestock Guards, Mr. Linus Zaki who displayed the animals in Makurdi, told journalists that 60 cows were impounded in Ohimini and 30 in Logo Local Government Area.
He stated that owners of the affected livestock must pay the stipulated fines to get back their cattle.
Zaki emphasized the determination of the Guards to the enforcement of the legislation, saying animals which have been kept in ranches were also enjoying the protection according to provisions of the law. Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Col. Paul Hembah (rtd), expressed the commitment of Governor Samuel Ortom to the rule of law and the safety of Benue people.
He lamented a situation where cattle owners abandon hired herders arrested by the state Livestock Guards to their fate and hire new herders to look after their animals, stressing the need for the amendment of the law to also provide punishment for erring livestock owners.
The Security Adviser noted that the ranching law was aimed at encouraging cattle rearers to embrace modern ways of animal husbandry which could also encourage western education for the herders.
Secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in Benue State, Malam Ibrahim Galma promised to step up sensitisation of herdsmen on the importance of the grazing law which he noted was more beneficial to them.