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The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has begun public hearing on a bill seeking to outlaw open grazing as part of efforts to check the incidence of clashes between farmers and cattle rearers.

Entitled Cattle Breeding, Rearing, Marketing, Regulation and Control 2017, the piece of legislation was sponsored by the House Leader, Peter Peretotubo Akpe (Sagbama 1).

Presenting an overview of the bill, he pointed out that the proposal was aimed at solving a lot of challenges, hence the need to incorporate direct professional expertise so it could stand the test of time.

He said the usefulness of cattle in our everyday life has made it imperative for a legislation to maximise their value to the society.Organised in Yenagoa by the House’s Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and Security and Special Duties, the hearing witnessed presentations from the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (ALFAN), National Butchers Union of Nigeria (NBUN), Association of Cattle Dealers and Rearers, Butchers Association of Bayelsa State as well as the police and the Department of State Services (DSS), among others.

Opening the event, the Speaker, Friday Konbowei Benson, said the chamber had resolved to adopt international best practices in its operations, hence all bills now go through public hearing.

Represented by the Chief Whip, Tonye Isenah, he noted that law-making process was not an exclusive preserve of the 24-member assembly.Underscoring the importance of the bill, Benson said the House was trying to forestall the widespread chaotic situation in parts of the country where the indigenes and nomads engage in avoidable bloodletting.

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