ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Tuesday, 05 February 2013

Venue: Room 30

1.31 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. Chairperson’s business

There was no Chairperson’s business to report.

3. Minutes of the meeting on 29 January 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2013.

4. Matters arising

Agreed: The Committee agreed the draft press release on the review into Tree Disease.

Noted: The Committee noted the weekly update from the Department on Ash Dieback.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the meeting on 15 January 2013.

1.34 p.m. Mr Hazzard joined the meeting.

5. Oral Briefing DARD: Food Contamination in Northern Ireland

The following departmental officials joined the meeting at 1.34 p.m.

Robert Huey, Chief Veterinary Officer

Alan McCartney, Agricultural Inspector

The officials briefed the Committee and this was followed by a question and answer session.

1.35 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.

1.39 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

1.55 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

2.15 p.m. Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

2.25 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

2.27 p.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting.

2.33 p.m. Mrs Dobson rejoined the meeting.

2.34 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

2.37 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

2.47 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to ask for clarification on comments made at the meeting on 29 January 2013 regarding horsemeat in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee amended and agreed the amended Press Release regarding the emergency briefing with the Department on this issue.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that subject to the agreement of the Committee for Health and Social Services, the two committees would hold a concurrent Tuesday 12 February 2013 to receive a briefing from the Food Standards Agency and DARD.

2.50 p.m. Mr Byrne left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to move to agenda items 8, 9 and 10.

6. SR: The Welfare of Animals (Dog Breeding Establishments and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations

Question put and agreed;

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the Welfare of Animals (Dog Breeding Establishments and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013 and recommends that is affirmed by the Assembly.

7. SL1: Scrapie Monitoring (Fees) (Amendments) Regulations (NI) 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask why there was no full cost recovery for Scrapie Monitoring Fees in previous years.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Ulster Farmers’ Union to ask if it was part of the Scrapie Monitoring (Fees) Consultation process and what its opinion was.

8. SL1: The Northern Ireland Poultry Health Assurance Scheme (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the approval of the Regulations.

2.54 p.m. The meeting was suspended.

3.21 p.m. The meeting resumed.

The following Members were present;

Mr P Frew, Mr T Buchanan, Mrs J Dobson, Mr D McAleer, Mr K McCartney and Mr R Swann.

9. Oral briefing DARD: Anti-Fraud Strategy

The following departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.22 p.m.

Graeme Wilkinson, Assistant Secretary

Tom Rodgers, Principal Officer

Colin Hart, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer

The officials briefed the Committee and this was followed by a question and answer session.

3.25 p.m. Mr Byrne rejoined the meeting.

3.26 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

3.30 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

3.31 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request the year to date figures for fraud cases and confirmation on whether they were internal or external investigations.

3.44 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

10. Oral Briefing DARD: NI Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

The following departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.50 p.m.

Lorraine Lynas, Principal Officer

Rosemary Agnew, Principal Officer

Niall Heaney, Principal Officer

The officials briefed the Committee and this was followed by a question and answer session.

Mr Swann declared an interest as a member of the North/East LAG.

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a member of SOAR.

3.52 p.m. Mr McCarthy rejoined the meeting.

4.00 p.m. Mr McAleer rejoined the meeting.

4.03 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a detailed analysis of consultation responses.

11. Written briefing – Code of Practice for Laying Hens

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Department should proceed with the publication of the Code of Practice for Laying Hens.

4.30 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

12. Committee discussion on badger sett survey

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department which provided a copy of the letter which has issued to farmers detailing the forthcoming Badger Sett Survey.

13. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule an informal meeting with the Mourne Farmers.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure regarding access to CAFRE sporting facilities, to the Minister.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from FASTA regarding the Loughs Agency Consultation on Angling Regulations 2013 for Foyle and Carlingford. The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to ask if the meeting with FASTA took place and to request details of the outcome.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Social Development which provides an update on the progress with the Fuel Poverty Thematic Sub Groups.

14. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

15. AOB

There was no other business.

16. Date and time of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 12 February 2013 at 3.00 p.m. in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting adjourned at 4.35 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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