The Abia State House of Assembly has forbidden open grazing in the state by passing into law the Control of Nomadic Cattle Rearing and Prohibition of Grazing Routes/Reserve Bill, 2016.

Passage of this bill is coming less than 24 hours after the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, called for the suspension of anti-open grazing law in states where it is being implemented.

The state legislative asserted that law would control cattle rearing and also seek to ban grazing routes within the state.

Passing the bill into law, Mr Chikwendu Kalu, Speaker of the State Assembly, urged the judicial arm of the government to ensure that there is a full compliance with the law.

Noting that the law is important to all residents of the states as well as farmers, Kalu expressed optimism that Governor of the state, Okezie Ikpeazu, would assent the bill.

According to the law, entry of trade cattle into the state shall be by rail or by road haulage.

Also, movement of trade cattle to major towns in the state shall be by truck, trailers/vehicles or pickup van.

Defaulters of the new law would be liable to a fine of N200,000 or six months imprisonment, or both, upon conviction.

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