The Lagos State House of Assembly is deliberating on a bill to bar residents from owning wild animals like lions, snakes and others, The PUNCH has learnt.
The proposed law is known as “A Bill for Law to Regulate Ownership, Licensing, Care and Sale of Pets and Prohibit or Restrict Persons from Having Custody lions, snakes and of Animals Dangerous to the Public and Where Permitted to License, Control and Regulate the Custody of Such Animals and for Other Connected Purposes’.
According to a document sighted by The PUNCH, the public hearing for the bill held last week on December 17, 2020, and it was chaired by Mr. Kehinde Joseph, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture.
It was learnt that the bill prescribes hefty fines and jail terms for persons who flout the law.
The bill also seeks to promote animal rights and regulate the sale of animals.
The proposed law comes exactly a year after an Indian citizen residing in Lagos was found to have harboured a lion in his private residence located opposite a primary school and crèche.
Acting on a petition by a concerned resident, the Lagos State Government stormed the house located at 229 Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, and tranquilised and evacuated the animal to Omu Resorts Zoo in Lekki after 72 hours of close observation by the police.
According to reports, officials of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences (Enforcement), together with officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and medical personnel from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, performed the evacuation.
The Indian who owned the lion was, however, not arrested.