The Oyo State House of Assembly has passed a bill to regulate the activities of herdsmen in the state.
Newsmen report that the bill is entitled, “Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Bill, 2019.”
The bill, which sailed through the second reading on Wednesday, focuses on enacting a law prohibiting open grazing of livestock in the state.
The bill, which provides for the regulation of activities of herdsmen and for connected purposes, was jointly sponsored by Mr. Adebo Ogundoyin (PDP/Ibarapa East State Constituency); and Mr. Abiodun Fadeyi, Deputy Speaker (PDP/Ona-Ara State Constituency) and two other co-sponsors.
Fadeyi said, “The bill is meant to regulate open grazing in Oyo State, restrict herdsmen movement and otherwise.
“We may know that some states in the federation have passed a similar bill into law.
“These include Ekiti, Benue and Taraba, which are faced with similar situations.
“The bill is to ensure that we regulate rearing of animals within our state. There is nothing bad if herdsmen and their animals are confined to a particular place.”
He said that movement of animals from one place to the other, termed as nomadic, was going out of fashion in the 21st Century.
According to him, there is a need to move, technologically, so that the country can groom better beef for human consumption.
He said the bill would also protect the environment from degradation and pollution caused by open grazing and rearing of livestock.
Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr. Debo Ogundoyin, while commenting on the bill, said the state would make it an offence for anyone to engage in open rearing, herding and grazing of livestock in the state outside of the permitted ranches.
The Minority Leader (Atiba State Constituency/APC), Mr. Asimiyu Alarape; and Mr. Hakeem Adedibu (Iwajowa State Constituency/PDP), in their contributions, noted that the moving livestock around poses great risks to farmers in rural communities.
Other lawmakers who contributed included Mr. Jacob Bamigboye (Oriire State Constituency/PDP); and Mrs. Olawumi Oladeji (Ogbomosho North State Constituency/ADP).
They each called for speedy passage of the bill.
They said the bill would curtail the rising cases of farmers/herders clashes, particularly in most agrarian communities in Oyo State.
The Speaker, while committing the bill to the House Committees on Agriculture and Security for further deliberations and scrutiny, said the House had also resolved to conduct a public hearing on the bill.
Other bills which passed through second reading at the plenary included those of the State Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Establishment and Training and that of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development.
Others were Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and Ministry of Energy bills.
Ministry of Women Affairs and Social inclusion bill, Ministry of Special Duties and Ministry of Budget and Planning bills also passed first readings.