Farmer in court for allowing animals to cause damage

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The Hohoe Magistrate’s Court has granted a GHC10,000 bail to Korkuvi Atiga, a farmer, with one surety for allowing his domestic animals to stray into neighbours’ farms, causing damage to their crops, among other things.

CourtAtiga pleaded not guilty to the charge and will reappear on March 14, 2024.

Mr Frank Azila-Gbettor, prosecuting, told the court, presided over by Mr John Evans Ocran, that the accused person lived at Fodome Lormnava, a farming community in the Fodome Traditional Area of the Volta Region.

He was engaged in the rearing of domestic animals including sheep and goats in the community, prosecution said.

In October 2021, the Environmental Health Officer of the area received a series of reports from the community that Atiga had released his animals, which strayed into farmlands to destroy crops of neighbours.

He said an officer of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit visited the community to educate the accused person to construct a pen for his animals and refrain from releasing them to roam the community.

The officer also noted that Atiga did not take good care of the animals, which made offensive noises at night when mating, disturbing the sleep of community members.

The accused person was educated to repair his damaged pen to safely keep the animals but failed to heed the advice.

The Municipal Environmental Health Unit then instructed the Unit Committee members to capture any stray animal in the community, but the members faced resistance from the accused person.

However, the unit committee members were able to arrest five stray sheep belonging to the accused person on August 14, 2022, but the issue was resolved after he promised not to repeat the offence.

That withstanding, the nuisance continued until October 17, 2022, when his stray sheep, three, were caught and transported to the office but Atiga again asked for pardon and was forgiven.

On December 26, 2023, a community member arrested three stray sheep on his farm and deposited them at Fodome Helu police station, which were later brought to the Environmental Health Unit at Hohoe.

Prosecution said five days later the accused person asked his wife to retrieve the animals, but the officer asked Atiga to report to the office himself to meet with the farmer to assess the cost of damage to his crops.

Atiga failed to report to the office and continued to let his animals loose without any regard for advice, leading to his summons to the court.

By Edward Williams, GNA

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