ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.32p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

The apologies are recorded above.

2. Chairperson's business

The Chairperson advised Members that an informal meeting has been arranged for Monday 4 March 2013 at 12.30 p.m. with Mourne Farmers.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward a letter to Robin Swann MLA to make him aware that the thoughts and prayers of the Committee are with him and his family.

3. Minutes of the meeting 12 February 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 12 February 2013.

4. Matters arising

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from Freeza Meats and agreed to write to them to offer its support during the on-going horse meat controversy and advise that the Committee has asked the Minister for details of any contact she has had with ASDA.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding the draft public guidance on the use of reasonable force against crime. The Committee agreed to forward the response to the Committee for Justice.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the meeting on 29 January 2013 and agreed to schedule an oral briefing for Tuesday 26th February to look into the issues around the LPIS maps and the Single Farm Payment for 2013.

1.36p.m. Mr Irwin declared an interest as being in receipt of a single farm payment.

1.39p.m. Mr McMullan joined the meeting.

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

Agreed: The Committee noted the weekly update from the Department on Ash Dieback and agreed to seek some further clarity on the drop in 'number of premises to be inspected'.

Noted: The Committee noted the Ministerial Statement regarding pedestrian access to Forestry Land and the new Forestry Land Byelaws.

5. Committee Review on Tree Disease: Oral Briefing AFBI

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 1.41p.m.

Dr Sinclair Mayne, Departmental Scientific Advisor
Dr Alistair McCracken, Principal Scientific Officer, AFBI
Dr Colin Fleming, Principal Scientific Officer, AFBI

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

1.45p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.
1.55p.m. Mr Hazzard and Mr McMullan left the meeting.
1.56p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting
2.00p.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting.
2.14p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

6. Correspondence

Noted: The Committee noted the invitation from the OFMdFM Committee and the NIA Business Trust to an event on 6 March 2013 at which the Minister of State for European Affairs will speak.

7. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department for Finance and Personnel requesting information on its role and input in relation to the DARD proposal of the Ballykelly site as the location of the new DARD HQ.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to the Department's request to defer a briefing on the relocation of DARD HQ until the a response is received from the Department for Finance and Personnel.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to reschedule the Effective Questioning and Scrutiny Workshop post Easter.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing from the Livestock and Meat Commission on 5 March 2013.

Agreed: The Committee further agreed to draft a letter to all supermarkets asking them for information of checks they have in place to insure the integrity of the food supply chain, and where the responsibility for this lies.

2.39p.m. Ms Dobson re-joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a visit to Brussels from 24-26 April 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a visit on 3 October 2013 as part of an initiative among committees to mark Derry/Londonderry being the City of Culture.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to invite the Food Standards Agency to brief Members in relation to the contamination of beef with horse DNA.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

8. AOB

There was no other business.

9. Date and time of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 26 February 2013 at
1.30 p.m. in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting adjourned at 2.55 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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