The bill for an establishment Act of a National Livestock Bureau has passed second reading in the Nigerian Senate. The bill will create a national database for livestock in Nigeria.
The bill was passed for a second reading during plenary on Tuesday and referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to report back within four weeks.
Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (Kebbi South – APC) described the bill as ‘one of the best legislation’ introduced in the chamber, especially in view of the lingering security crisis in the country.
He said, “If the content of this bill is implemented, it means movement of cattle would be strictly monitored and almost impossible for anybody to have access to illegal livestock and sell them elsewhere.”
The sponsor of the bill, Senator Muhammad Bima Enagi (Niger South – APC), said the bureau would be created for the purpose of livestock identification, traceability, registration, cattle rustling control, disease control, and other related matters.
The senator explained: “Livestock identification refers to keeping records of individual farm animals or groups of farm animals so that they can be more easily tracked from their birth, through the marketing chain, to the table.”
According to him, the bill intends to indicate ownership and prevent rustling, as well as collate genetic information on animals, and improve the ability to trace animals.
Also contributing to the debate, Senator Kabir Abdullahi Barkiya (Katsina Central – APC) said being able to track livestock would significantly reduce cattle rustling, a trend he said is worsening banditry in the northern region.
Senator Bashir Ajibola (Osun Central – APC) raised a constitutional point of order as to whether the National Assembly has the power to legislate on the subject matter, but was overruled by Senator Na’Allah and Senate President Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North – APC).