The Benue State House of Assembly on Thursday passed a bill prohibiting open rearing and grazing of livestock in the state.
The bill, when signed into law, would provide room for the establishment of ranches and livestock administration, regulation and control.
It also provides that whoever engages in cattle rustling shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment of a term not less than three years or the payment of N100,000 per animal or both.
In the case of open grazing or rearing of live stocks, the law provides that anyone who contravenes the law shall be guilty of an offence and such a person on conviction, will be liable to five years imprisonment or a fine of N1,000, 000 or both.
The bill titled, ‘Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017’, says that ‘no individual or group shall, after the commencement of this law, engage in nomadic livestock, herding or grazing in the state outside the permitted ranches’.
The bill also provides for monetary compensation in case of any damage to a property and imprisonment of two years of the livestock owner or manager in case of injury to any person in the state.