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Anti-Open Grazing Bill: Breeding Cattle In One Place Is Capital-Intensive- Southwest Myetti Allah

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The Zonal Secretary of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in the South West, Meikudi Usman has said that it would be more expensive to breed cattles in one place, while urging the Lagos State government to amend the proposed bill on anti-open grazing.

Usman said this during a one day public hearing held in Lagos State House of Assembly on a Bill for a law to Prohibit Open Cattle Grazing  in Lagos.

The Myetti Allah Zonal Secretary said that the best way to breed cattles was to move them from place to another, saying that they are moved to different places during rainy and dry season.

He added that the association would need the assistance of the state government if the bill must be signed into law, adding that raising a cow in one location could increase the price of a cow to as much as N2 million.

Usman then called on the government to subsidize the cost of raising the animals in one location.

“If cattles are bred in one place, the price could go up to about N2 million each. We agreed with some local chiefs in other states that anyone who wants to rear cows in a location should register and he should indicate when he is leaving.

“A Fulani man moves from one place to another to ply his trade, but we have some bad eggs that are formenting trouble. The government should allow us to talk to our people that they don’t want our cows to destroy people’s farmland.

“We have met with stakeholders in Ekiti, Ondo and even Oyo states and we reached agreements with them,” he said.

In his comment, the President of the Lagos State Sheep Farmers Association, Alhaji Mustapha Ibrahim said that the bill was not meant to attack anybody, but that it is all-embracing.

Ibrahim stressed that land resources was very important to Lagos State, and that the relationship between cattle rearers and farmers should be symbiotic.

He also advocated for a legislation to promote the creation of farm estates across the state.

Also speaking, the Executive Director of Consumer Rights Advocacy Center, Comrade Adeola Samuel suggested the arrangement of some sections of the bill, while Dr. Femi Joseph said April 4, 2021, which is World Animal Control Day should be part of the bill.

Chairman of the Lagos State Butchers Association, Alhaji Alabi Bamidele Kazeem urged the assembly to support the cattle breeders as breeding cattles in one location could be expensive.

Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. (Hon) Mudashiru Obasa said in his keynote address that it was important to address the issue of cattle rearing, which he said affects security of lives and is a pointer to peaceful co-existence and other human desires.

Obasa, who was represented at the event by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni said that the issue of cattle rearing and open grazing called for concerted efforts for stability and economic development.

“If there is no security, there will be no peace and development. Farmers/herders clash appears to be the oldest. Both the farmers and herders are critical to food stability.

“Both of them affect our health. Their conflicts lead to insecurity and claim lives and properties. We must engage ourselves to make the right decisions,” he said.

Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Hon. Kehinde Joseph said that the proposed law was meant to ensure peace between herders and farmers in the state.

Joseph stated that it was meant to ensure the registration of herders and prohibit cattle roaming and impose stiffer punishment on those who carry arms to rear cattles.

“It will forestall herders/farmers clashes and redefine social and economic activities in the state.

“Members of cattle breeders association will be sensitised on the new development and we will ensure strict compliance with the law, when it is passed,” he said.

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