Press Release

DARD Agrees to Committee Proposal on Reducing Compensation

Session: 2009/2010

Date: Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Reference: AGR 01/09/10

The Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development today secured the agreement of the Department to amend a proposal that would have given DARD the powers to reduce compensation where they could prove poor biosecurity.

Following discussions with the Minister and senior officials on the Diseases of Animals Bill at their weekly meeting, the Chair to the Committee, Mr Ian Paisley Jnr, stated: “The agreement today will restrict the Department’s powers to reduce compensation payments where there is evidence of poor biosecurity in respect of brucellosis and is a very pragmatic approach taken by the Department today.

“The Committee is fully supportive of the Department’s attempts to eradicate brucellosis and allowing reductions in compensation where there is repeated poor on-farm biosecurity provides DARD with a powerful tool in the fight against this disease.

“However, the Committee remained concerned that allowing the Department the wider power to reduce compensation for other diseases, despite assurances to the contrary, went too far and recommended that the focus be placed on brucellosis only.

“I am delighted that the Department has agreed to do so. It is a sensible compromise and evidence of the Committee and the Department working together to eradicate devastating and costly diseases from Northern Ireland.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

The Chairperson was speaking following a meeting held in the Room 152 in Parliament Buildings.

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