By Momodou Jawo
Rural farmers under the auspices of the Commission of Cattle Owners of The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea Bissau, have lamented what they called the persistent cattle rustling in the border villages of these countries.
Speaking at a recent meeting with the governor of the region, the Commission’s secretary general, Amadou Selleh Baldeh, disclosed that at least 80 heads of cattle have gone missing without trace.
Baldeh, however, informed that 10 heads of cattle that were recently stolen at Dingeri village in the Tumana District of the Upper River Region have been recovered by the Commission’s chapter in Cassamance.
He said despite their achievements in trying to curb cattle rustling, they are still faced with some challenges that need authorities’ assistance. “We want the governments to help us with identification cards that will facilitate our travel in our bid to hunting down the rustlers. Sometimes we are delayed during the process of tracking due to many police checking,” he said.
“Nonetheless we will continue to collaborate with the police to ensuring that cattle poaching in the provincial villages of these three countries are curbed,” he assured.
The SG used the meeting to inform that the Commission was established in 2007 with the main objective of curbing animal theft and recovering them from wherever they have been taken within the three countries.
“Since the establishment of the Commission, 162 heads of cattle that were stolen by notorious thieves have been recovered and given to their owners,” he reported.
The governor of the region, Omar Sompo Ceesay, assured members that the government is doing all efforts to ensuring that the menace of cattle rustling is stamped out. He commended the Commission for its foresight in putting up a force against the practice. The governor informed that plans are afoot to embark on a massive sensitisation against the menace in every village in the region.
The police commissioner of the region, Lamin Touray, dwelled on the significance of the forum, and commended the Commission members for their efforts in curbing the illegal activity.
“I want to assure you that the police in the region are doing all efforts to ensure that cattle rustling, among other heinous crimes, become a thing of past,” he assured.