Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Mr Osi Braimah, has warned that the board would be strict on enforcement by arresting cattle rearers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Braimah gave the warning during the monitoring exercise conducted along the airport road, in Abuja on Thursday.
“We are going to be strict on enforcement until the city of Abuja is rid of animals.
“The laws against grazing of animals in the FCT are quite clear. The extant laws and rules are that you are not allowed to keep animals in your property, you are not allowed to graze animals on the streets of Abuja.
“Grazing of animals along the airport road symbolises illegal acts,” Braimah said.
Braimah noted that there had been several meetings with groups that are responsible for cattle rearing, groups such as the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBA), looking for ways to sort out these problems.
“We must try to enforce these laws. We know that it’s getting serious now, when you live in Abuja, you see animals grazing everywhere, cows everywhere, this is no longer acceptable.
“We are going to begin strict enforcement. We are going to seize these animals and take the violators to court soonest.
“Our prayer would be that the court confiscates those animals and give them away because we have done all we can to mitigate these problems,” the director revealed.
He decried the rate of accidents recorded by cattle grazing on the highway, saying such accidents have caused the death of people in the FCT because they ram into them.
“Safety rules are not known to these small boys who rear these animals.
Commenting on the attacks by the cattle breeders on the AEPB officials, Braimah said, “Even though we have armed policemen with us we always try to use minimal force against them.
“We have appealed to their parents to make their children remain at home and not to be herding animals on the streets.
“We will not have and condone animals crossing the expressway. We will not also allow people to keep animals on their property.”
He warned that these animals carry diseases, they constitute nuisance and apart from being a physical nuisance they are also a concern to public health.
“They carry diseases called zoonotic diseases that pass from animals to humans,” he said.