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Ortom signs amended grazing bill into law



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Ortom signs amended grazing bill into law.

The Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bill 2017 which was amended by Benue state house of assembly on Tuesday January 18, has been signed into law by the Governor, Samuel Ortom.

The lawmakers passed the bill to deter those who flagrantly disrespect the law, following consideration of the report of the House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources during plenary.

The amended law now stipulates that any person found moving livestock on foot within or across urban centres, rural settlements or any part of the state would pay N500,000 as fine for first offender while subsequent offender would be liable to pay N1 million with appropriate prison terms and options of fine.

Daily Trust reported that the amended law also stipulates a 14-year jail term with an option of N5 million fine for anyone who engages the services of an underaged child to break the law with equally various fines for confiscated livestock which includes N50,000 fine per cow, N10,000 per pig, N5,000 per goat and N1,000 per poultry bird.

Governor Ortom had said that the old moderate fine for a confiscated animal which prescribed N2000 per cow was reviewed to N50,000 based on current realities and the cost spent in bringing and caring for them at the state’s quarantine centre.

Another amended area covered the seven days period of grace during which the confiscated livestock must be claimed by their owners or risk being unction.

Ortom said;

“If the owners don’t come to collect same day of confiscation, they will have to pay an additional N20,000 for each cow. If you don’t pay within seven days, the law permits us to unction it.”

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