The Benue State Government says it has arrested 400 herdsmen for flouting the state’s anti-open grazing law.
The state government also seized over 600 cows belonging to the herdsmen.
Governor Samuel Ortom, who revealed these in Makurdi on Friday, ordered the livestock guards to impound any cows seen openly grazing in any part of the state.
Ortom gave the instructions while inspecting impounded cows at the quarantine unit of the state Ministry of Agriculture.
He said enforcement of the ranching law would continue to enable those who wish to do livestock business to comply with its provisions.
He said, “There has been influx of armed herdsmen with large herds of animals to the state, despite the high level of awareness creation to the existence of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law.
“Several herds of cattle have been impounded and quarantined in other local government areas and the state government has acquired trucks to help livestock guards to convey impounded livestock from long distances to quarantine units for safekeeping.”
While describing the influx of herdsmen to the state as “life-threatening”, the governor said such would not be condoned by his administration.
Ortom said, ‘‘As of today over 400 herdsmen found to have flouted the anti-open grazing law have been arrested and facing prosecution, some have been convicted.”
According to Ortom, ranching remains the global best practices of animals husbandry, urging Nigerians to key into it to ensure peace between herdsmen and farmers.
The Commander, Livestock Guards, Linus Zaki, said they impounded 214 cattle in Ukum, 69 in Logo, 219 in Guma, 96 in Makurdi and 16 in Gwer West councils.