By Femi Ogunshola
An Abuja based Lawyer, Dr Kayode Ajulo, says ranching of cows in the country will be beneficial to both the herders and farmers.
Ajulo spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja against the backdrop of the controversies surrounding open grazing of cows across the country.
He said there was need for regulation in respect of open grazing; adding that such would help to assuage the feelings of all agitation.
He stated that the benefits of ranching as evidenced in other parts of the world include the production of healthier animals, production of better products and protection of the ecosystem.
The legal practitioner said that ban on open grazing was not a ban on husbandry, but added that it was to regulate pasturing and herding.
According to him, whatever angle the present issue tilts, one thing is certain, open grazing is archaic, anachronistic and out of synch with modern day realities.
“What is more itinerate rearing of animal and breeding animals on crops, grass and other plants which might be dangerous to the health of the animals
He said that such practice would only allow the animal to wander for several kilometers and miles, adding that such in itself was a form of cruelty to animals punishable under our Penal laws.
“For instance Section 495 of the Criminal Code prohibits cruelty to animal,” he stated.
He said that the Federal High Court, Abuja on May 20 affirmed the right of Nigerian states to implement anti-grazing laws in their domains.
“This position weakens those canvassing for open grazing on the ground that such a ban is unconstitutional and infringes on the rights of movement enshrined in the nation’s laws.
” The court indicated this when it rejected a suit seeking to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security agencies to enforce the Benue Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Law of 2017.
“The judge, in the judgement, also said the enforcement of the anti-grazing law having been validly passed by the Benue House of Assembly, for instance, “lies with the state government,” he said. (NAN)