Benue State government has released to the owners a total of 210 cattle earlier impounded by the state Livestock Guards Task Force for violating its laws against open grazing in two Local Government Areas.
Commander of the Livestock Guards, Linus Zaki, said that 140 of the cattle were arrested at Mballgh council ward in Makurdi LGA while the remaining 70 bringing the total to 210 were impounded from Ggbajimgba in Guma LGA.
Zaki who handed the seized animals to their owners in Makurdi, encouraged them to respect the state’s law which banned open grazing since 2017, adding that they had fulfilled the requirements for violating the law.
“We can’t stop implementing the law so they (herders) should do the right thing by obeying the law,” the Livestock commander said.
Reacting, the State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Risku Mohammed, who led some members of his executives to include his secretary, Ibrahim Galma and the owners of the cattle to receive the animals appreciated the Benue government for keeping the cattle safe.
Mohammed admitted that the herders had trespassed the anti-open grazing law of the state as he stressed that some of them were yet to fully understand the law and that was why there were still pockets of violation in different areas of the state.
He appealed for time to enable the association effectively educate and orientate their members about the law, stressing the need for government to provide a pilot ranching for them to learn the rudiments.
On his part, the owner of the 140 animals, Abdullahi Haruna, said he had followed the due process for the release of his cattle and therefore came with vans to evacuate them.
While the owner of the 70 cows, Haro Audu, said his children had herded the cattle into Benue state but appreciated the peaceful release of the animals back to him.