The governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has signed into law, the anti-open grazing bill in the state.
The governor assented to the bill during a Security Council meeting at the state secretariat at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.
The law, titled HB No. 045/OG/2021, is – Law to Regulate Animal Grazing, Establishment of Cattles Ranches in Designated Grazing Areas of Ogun State and for other matters incidental thereto and connected therewith.
He called on the security agencies to swing immediately into action and enforce provisions of the law.
According to him, the subject matter has been discussed along the length and breadth of the country stating that southern governors have also discussed and endorsed it.
Cattle owners, according to Abiodun, have a six-month period of grace before it becomes illegal in Ogun State for herders to occupy unapproved public areas and private land with their livestock for grazing.
The law also prohibits the act of moving cattle around public places by herders.
Part of the law prescribed a jail term of not less than three years without the option of fine, including the forfeiture of the herds of cattle or livestock under his/her control to the State Government for anyone who rears, herd or graze any livestock in any part of the state.
This is except within the permitted ranches or anyone who rears cattle or livestock outside the permitted ranches after the commencement of the law.
A committee headed by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Adeola Odedina, had been set up to oversee the implementation and enforcement of the new law.
The signing of the anti-open grazing law by the governor followed the decision of the Southern Governors’ Forum last August, setting the September deadline to pass the law across member states.
The governor said, “By implication, in six months, it will become unlawful to openly graze cattle or other livestock in the state”
The Ogun State House of Assembly had passed the bill on July 8, 2021.