ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.33 p.m. The meeting commenced in Closed Session

1. Forward Work Programme 

The committee received a briefing from Eva Grosman and Kevin Shiels on an Effective Questioning and Scrutiny Workshop.

1.36 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.

1.40 p.m. Mr Clarke and Mr Kinahan joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule an Effective Questioning and Scrutiny Workshop into the Forward Work Programme in March 2013.  

1.49 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

1.55 p.m. Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Terms of Reference for a Committee Review of Plant Health and Biosecurity and agreed the organisations to seek oral evidence from.

Agreed: The Committee agreed a Stakeholder Event in the Long Gallery on 19 February 2013 and the organisations to be invited to the event, and agreed that two further organisations, the Young Farmers Club of Ulster and the Honourable Society, should also be invited.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request that Alan Sharkey, Woodland Trust, should be invited as the keynote speaker for the stakeholder event.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request research on sea-fishing and to consider including inshore angling.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider a visit to a forest and/or airport/port as part of the review into Plant Health.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

1.58 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

2.00 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

2.08 p.m. Mr Byrne left the meeting.

2.08 p.m. The meeting moved into open session

2. Apologies

There were no apologies.

3. Chairperson’s business

The Chairperson advised Members that an invitation had issued from the Chairperson of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee to the launch of the Consumer Council’s report on the impact of rising food costs on 22 January 2013. Members were advised to respond to the invite by close of play.

4. Minutes of the meeting 11 December 2012

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2012.

5. Matters arising

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the meeting on 13 November 2012 on the relocation of DARD HQ.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the Lough Neagh Working Group questionnaire and analysis of responses. The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence to other relevant committees along with the Hansard of the meeting on 4 December 2012.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department which provided additional information relating to the Code of Practice for Dairy Cows and Pigs and the Code of Practice on Diseases of Animals. The Committee agreed to advise the Department that the Code of Practice should now be published.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to ask the Department what research they have considered regarding the implementation of a scheme similar to the Scottish Capital Grant Scheme.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the Department’s response to the development of the Enferplex kit to Fusion Antibodies/MV Diagnostics.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the meeting on 27 November 2012.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the public consultation on the proposal for managing SFP/LFACA Dual Use Claims.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department which details the Units and Branches within the Department, as requested at the meeting on 20 November 2012.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the meeting on 4 December 2012. The Committee agreed to request the absenteeism figures for DARD staff for the past five years.

Noted: The Committee noted the monthly update from the Department on Schmallenberg Virus.

6. Oral Briefing DARD: Bovine TB Lay Testing

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.16 p.m.

Rory Harwood, Senior Principal Veterinary Officer

Ian McKee, Principal Officer

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

Mrs Dobson declared an interest as a farmer.

2.30 p.m. Mr Byrne rejoined the meeting.

2.35 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

2.50 p.m. Mr McMullan joined the meeting.

2.51 p.m. Mr Buchanan rejoined the meeting.

2.55 p.m. Mr Clarke and Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

3.00 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request for information regarding the number of departmental veterinarians have been prohibited from TB testing for any period of time.

7. Oral Briefing DARD: Ash Dieback Update

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.01 p.m.

Malcolm Beatty, Chief Executive

John Joe O’Boyle, Director of Forestry

Stuart Morwood, Director of Woodland Development & Strategies

3.02 p.m. Mr McCarthy joined the meeting.

3.03 p.m. Mr McAleer rejoined the meeting.

3.08 p.m. Mrs Dobson rejoined the meeting.

3.10 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

3.15 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

3.18 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

3.20 p.m. Mr Kinahan left the meeting.

3.25 p.m. Mrs Dobson and Mr McAleer rejoined the meeting.

3.33 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.

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

8. Oral Briefing DARD: Outcome of December Fisheries Council

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.34 p.m.

John Speers, Assistant Secretary

Ian Humes, Principal Officer

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

3.37 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

3.40 p.m. Mr McMullan rejoined the meeting.

3.43 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

4.00 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

9. SR 2012/416 The Cattle Identification (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed;

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the Cattle Identification(Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the laying of the Rule.

10. SR 2012/456 The Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed;

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances Regulations (NI) 2012 and, subject to comment from the Examiner of Statutory Rules, has no objection to the laying of the Rule.

11. SR 2012/452 The CAP Single Payment and Support Schemes (Cross Compliance) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012

Mr McCarthy declared an interest.

Question put and agreed;

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has

Considered the CAP Single Payment and Support Schemes (Cross

Compliance) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012 and, subject to

comment from the Examiner of Statutory Rules, has no objection to the

rule.

12. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for the Environment on the current status of the Rose Energy Planning application. The Committee agreed to request a briefing from DARD/DETI on the outcome of the joint initiative to develop an alternative to the Rose Energy incinerator.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on a briefing it received from Assembly Research and Information Service on financial forecasting. The Committee agreed to receive a similar briefing post Easter.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Justice on the draft public guidance on the use of reasonable force to protect against crime and agreed to forward to DARD, UFU and NIAPA for comment.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on Better Regulation – Validation of the Interim Re-Measurement Results.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence via email from concerned individuals regarding the proposed Bass Legislation. The Committee agreed to forward the emails to the Department for comment.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence to the Minister, copied to the Committee, from the Lough Neagh Partnership. The Committee agreed to request that it is copied into the reply from the Minister.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the OFMDFM Committee regarding the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland – Activity Report for DARD.

13. AOB

There was no other business.

14. Date and time of the next meeting.

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 22 January 2013 at

1.30 p.m. in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting adjourned at 4.13 p.m.

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