A common sight around west Africa is to see cattle grazing freely, even in major cities, on highways and in airports. In a bid to support these practices, the Economic Community of West African State (Ecowas) drew up regulations in 1998 and 2003. All Ecowas member states were to apply the regulations. findings show that livestock productivity has not improved in the region since the introduction of the new rules. Cattle productivity has fallen and milk production has improved very minimally. Clashes between farmers and herders have increased, along with insecurity. Elites take advantage of the regulations to exploit poor herders.