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Anti-Open Grazing Bill: Miyetti Allah Demands 30,000 sq metres of Land in Delta

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The Cattle Dealers Association on Monday demanded 30,000 square metres of land across the 25 local government areas in Delta state as designated areas for cattle breeding and marketing.

The demand follows the ban on open-grazing in Southern states of Nigeria and public hearing of laws seeking to regulate open grazing in Delta State.

The demand formed part of the reaction of the Association’s Chairman, Alhaji Musa Shuwa, during the public hearing of the bill seeking to provide Regulation of Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing, and to Prohibit Open Grazing and Related Matters in the state.

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About 12 memoranda were received by the Delta State House of Assembly Joint Committee on Special Bills and that of Agriculture and Natural Resources from government agencies and stakeholders in livestock business during the hearing.

A memorandum signed by Alhaji Musa Shuwa, stated that the 5,000 square metres designated as grazing areas contained in the proposed bill was grossly inadequate due to the facilities expected to be in the areas.

The association stated that at present, the group maintains livestock (cattle) market in seven towns in the state.

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Alhaji Musa added that the smallest is situated on a parcel of land measuring about 4,500 square metres, while the biggest is about 7,000 square metres.

“This is only for the markets. Also, each market takes delivery of not less than 800 cattle every week. Our members hardly sell all their cattle at the market, hence the need to feed the cattle by grazing.”

“With the tendance of the draft of this bill, being to ban open grazing, it is our respectful view that to have cattle within enclosed grazing (for the purpose of ranching) area will mean that a large space of area is needed for this purpose.While we acknowledge that the 5,000 square metres mentioned in Section 8(2a) is only in the minimum; it is our modest view that even in the minimum, 5,000 square metres of land may not be the best starting point.”

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“We, therefore recommend, that to practically satisfy having an abattoir, veterinary clinic, livestock market, administrative office and security post as provided in Section 2(b) to (g), Section 2(a) should provide that the designated area shall comprise a minimum of 30,000 square metres of land,” he said.

The Chairman of the Joint Committee, Mrs. Pat Ajudua, said the public hearing was to garner the inputs of the public, particularly major stakeholders in the making of the proposed law.

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