ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.33 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1.    Emergency Oral Briefing – Ash Dieback

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 1.35 p.m.

Malcolm Beatty, Chief Executive

Stuart Morwood, Principal Officer

Alan McCartney, Agri-Food Inspection Branch

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

1.35 p.m. Mr McAleer joined the meeting.

1.40 p.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting.

2.00 p.m. Mr McMullan joined the meeting.

2.00 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

2.01 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

2.06 p.m. Mr Byrne left the meeting.

2.06 p.m. Mr Buchanan rejoined the meeting.

2.15 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request statistics regarding the incidence rates of seized horticultural items at ports and airports.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request weekly updates from the Forestry Service in relation to Ash Dieback and oral briefings should the circumstances necessitate it.

2.19 p.m. The meeting moved into Closed Session.

2.    Oral Briefing DARD – Dog Breeding Establishments

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.20 p.m.

Kate Davey, Principal Officer

Andrew Kell, Deputy Principal Officer

Paddy McGuckian, Divisional Veterinary Officer

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

2.25 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.

2.50 p.m. Mr Byrne rejoined the meeting.

2.55 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

2.57 p.m. Mr Hazard left the meeting.

3.07 p.m. Mr Buchanan rejoined the meeting.

3.10 p.m. Mrs Dobson and Mr McMullan left the meeting.

3.11 p.m. Mr McCarthy rejoined the meetin.g

3.20 p.m. Mr McMullan rejoined the meeting.

3.25 p.m. Mrs Dobson rejoined the meeting.

3.33 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

3.36 p.m. Mr Swann rejoined the meeting.

3.40 p.m. Mr McAleer rejoined the meeting.

Mr Clarke proposed that the Department’s definition for a “breeding establishment” should be amended at sections (a), (b) and (c) to reduce the number of litters of puppies three or more unneutered bitches can have in any twelve month period, from three to two.

Question put.

The Committee divided. Ayes 4; Noes 3, Abstention 1.

Ayes

Mr Buchanan, Mr Clarke, Mrs Dobson and Mr Swann

Noes

Mr Byrne, Mr McAleer and Mr McMullan

Abstention

Mr McCarthy

Question put and agreed.

3.50 p.m. The meeting moved into Open Session

3.    Apologies

There were no apologies.

4.    Chairperson’s Business

Agreed: The Committee agreed to issue e-Christmas cards to all organisations and individuals who provided evidence to the Committee during the year.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Press Release for the report on Bovine TB.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that a photo opportunity has been arranged for Monday 26 November at 2.00 p.m. in the Great Hall. The photo will be issued after the debate on the report on Bovine TB.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that the Deputy Chairperson and he will be meeting with Drumlin Wind Energy on 3 December 2012 at 12.30 p.m.  All Committee Members were invited to attend.

3.55 p.m. Mr Hazzard and Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

5.    Minutes of the meeting held on 13 November 2012

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 13 November 2012.

6.    Matters arising

Agreed: The Committee agreed the draft letter to Ms Jo Swinson MP regarding concerns about the forthcoming Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill and agreed that it should be copied to all Northern Ireland MPs.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department which provided a copy of a respond to Basil McCrea on Job Creation in Rural Areas.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the Committee meeting on 16 and 23 October 2012.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from Mr Stephen Hammond MP regarding the proposed regulation on vehicle testing.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding Central Investigation Service and Countryside Management Branch and agreed to schedule an oral briefing on 4 December 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a detailed organisational chart of all branches within the Department. The Committee also agreed to request that the Department identifies which branch/unit has yet to brief the Committee.

4.03 p.m. Mr Buchanan, Mr Byrne and Mr Clarke left the meeting.

7.    Oral Briefing DARD - Progress on Mapping Areas of Natural Constraint

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 4.03 p.m.

Norman Fulton, Chief Agricultural Economist

Rosemary Agnew, Principal Officer

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

4.08 p.m. Mr Buchanan and Mr Byrne rejoined the meeting.

4.20 p.m. The meeting was suspended.

4.40 p.m. The meeting resumed with the following Members in attendance;

Mr Frew, Mrs Dobson, Mr McAleer, Mr McCarthy and Mr Swann.

8.    Oral Briefing DARD – SFP and LFA Dual Claims

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 4.55 p.m.

Norman Fulton, Chief Agricultural Economist

Rosemary Agnew, Principal Officer

Valerie Bell, Principal Officer

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

Mrs Dobson and Mr McCarthy declared an interest as a recipient of

Single Farm Payment.

5.00 p.m. Mr Buchanan, Mr Byrne and Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

5.07 p.m. Mr McMullan rejoined the meeting.

9.    Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee agreed to participate in a photo opportunity with BASC to launch the “Taste of Game” campaign 2013.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment on the Prosperity Process Report.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Kilkeel Angling Club and agreed to forward it to the Department for comment.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment regarding its motion on 26 November on the Small Business Research Initiative. The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request that they consider exploring the opportunities available within this initiative.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding a confirmed case of Fowl Typhoid and agreed to request that the Committee is updated on any further developments of the disease. 

10.   Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek a further date from the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association to present evidence to the Committee in January 2013.

Noted: The Committee noted that the briefing on the Agri-Food Strategy Board has been postponed until January 2013.

The Chairperson reminded the Committee that the meeting with the PSNI to discuss Agri-Crime is scheduled for 27 November 2012 at 10.30 a.m.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

11.    Committee Consideration – Single Farm Payment Scheme

Agreed: The Committee agreed to defer consideration of Agenda item 11 until to the next meeting.

12.    Any other business

There was no other business.

13.     Date and time of the next meeting.

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 27 November 2012 at

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

The meeting adjourned at 5.34 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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