The Niger State Environmental Protection Agency says it has detained 159 animals for straying and “constituting nuisance” in Minna, the state capital.
According to NAN, Lucky Barau, general manager of the agency, said the task force of the outfit made the arrest in two days.
He said the animals, which consisted of goats and sheep, were also arrested with their kids and lambs.
“These stray animals have wreaked havoc in many gardens in the metropolis; we cannot fold our arms and watch the gardens the state government had spent huge sum of money to beautify the city go into ruins,” he said.
“Many of them have caused accidents that resulted to death, especially with motorcycles as they ran into them often on the motorways.
“If you cannot take care of animals do not rear them, it is unreasonable for somebody’s animal to cause losses for individuals and the state; we are not going to continue to tolerate that.”
He said the agency did not seize animals but arrested them until the owners come around to pay a fine for the detained animal’s release.
He said the agency was mgnanimous enough to charge only N1, 000 on each animal, saying that if an individual had 10 animals arrested, the fine will attract N10,000.
He added that the fine was for the expenses the agency incurred in feeding and caring for the animal while in its custody.
Barau explained that the agency was ready to prosecute perpetual offenders as they had “directed the legal unit to make available the list of defaulters at every court sitting”.
“It is not that we want to make money from this, but it is punitive and deterrent so that any other person will not do same,” he said.
“Owner of animals should be responsible for their animals and take full responsibility of them, it is wrong for animals to be left without chain.
“Anybody whose name appears more than three times will have the animal auctioned.
“I have also directed that none of the agency’s staff should buy auctioned animals if they bring a proxy and we get to know they will face the consequence.
“We will not tolerate animals on the motorways, we will not accept that, we cannot have animals and humans cohabiting and struggling to use the road.”