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Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2000/2001

Date: 04 May 2001

Venue: Room 135

The Deputy Chairperson called the meeting to order at 10.00am.

1. Minutes of Proceedings on 27 April 2001.

1.1 Resolved: that the draft Minutes of Proceedings for 27 April 2001 were approved.

2. Update on the Foot and Mouth Disease situation.

2.1 Members deliberated on the necessity for the Minister to meet the Committee weekly.

2.2 The Deputy Chairperson welcomed the Minister and DARD officials Dr Bob McCracken (Chief Veterinary Officer) and Mr Pat Toal (Deputy Secretary) at 10.06am.

Mr Paisley Jnr attended the meeting at 10.09am. Mr Douglas attended the meeting at 10.20am.Mr Bradley attended the meeting at 10.35am.

2.3 The Minister made a short statement bringing members up to date with the current situation, and answered their subsequent questions.

2.4 The Minister offered to update the Committee and the Assembly on alternate weeks.

2.5 Resolved: that the Minister's offer should be accepted.

2.6 The Deputy Chairperson thanked the Minister and her officials and they left at 10.41am.

3. Slaughter Premium Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001.

3.1 The Deputy Chairperson welcomed DARD officials Mr Michael Thompson (Grade 7) and Ms Maria Rice (Deputy Principal) to the meeting at 10.43am.

3.2 Mr Thompson explained the purpose of the proposed regulations; summarised their content; and answered questions from members.

3.3 In response to a member's questions about record keeping and fraud prevention, and cost of registration, Mr Thompson undertook to supply further details.

Mr Ford left the meeting at 10.58am. Mr Paisley Jnr left the meeting at 11.17am

3.4 Members deliberated.

Resolved: that the Committee was content for DARD to proceed to make the Rule.

3.5 The Deputy Chairperson thanked the DARD officials, who left the meeting at 11.19am.

4. Specified Risk Material (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2001.

4.1 The Deputy Chairperson welcomed Mr Wesley Shannon (Grade 7) and Mrs Sandra Dunbar (Senior Veterinary Officer) to the meeting. Mr Shannon apologised for the mistake in relation to the need to lay this Rule, and assured the Committee that other Rules had not been similarly regarded. He went on to explain the Rule and he and Mrs Dunbar answered members' questions.

Mr Paisley Jnr returned to the meeting at 11.26am.

4.2 In response to a member's question, Mr Shannon undertook to find out if local councils had an obligation to accept such treated risk material for disposal.

4.3 Members deliberated.

4.4 Resolved: that the Committee was content for DARD to proceed with the Rule.

4.5 The Deputy Chairperson thanked the DARD officials, who left the meeting at 11.35am.

5. Inquiry into Certain Aspects of the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) - Evidence session with the Northern Ireland Meat Exporters' Association (NIMEA).

5.1 The Deputy Chairperson welcomed NIMEA representatives Mr Cecil Mathers (Chief Executive), Mr Colin Duffy (Chairman), Mr Richard Moore (Vice-Chairman) and Mr Campbell Tweedie (Past Chairman) to the meeting at 11.36am and invited Mr Mathers to make a statement.

Mr Dallat left the meeting at 11.56am. Mr Bradley left the meeting at 12.14pm.

5.2 Mr Mathers' statement, which included reference to NIMEA's written submission to the Committee, was followed by a question and answer session between members and the NIMEA delegation.

5.3 The Deputy Chairperson thanked the NIMEA representatives, explained that the Committee would write with further questions, and the delegation left the meeting at 12.30pm.

5.4 Resolved: that the Committee would write to NIMEA with further questions.

Mr Armstrong left the meeting at 12.31pm.

6. Inquiry into Certain Aspects of the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) - Evidence session with representatives from the Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers' Association (NIAPA) 'Ruling Council'.

6.1 The Deputy Chairperson welcomed Messrs Sean Clarke, Lawrence Smyth, and Sean Murray to the meeting.

6.2 The Deputy Chairperson made a statement in relation to the purpose of the Committee's Inquiry, and the hearing of evidence from those submitting views in relation to the Inquiry Terms of Reference. His statement included a reminder that the Committee had agreed, at its meeting on 6 April 2001, to hear such evidence from both groups claiming to represent the views of NIAPA, but would not become involved in any internal dispute within NIAPA.

Messrs Douglas, Kane and Paisley Jnr left the meeting at 12.35pm.

6.3 The Clerk drew the Deputy Chairperson's attention to the fact that a quorum was no longer present. The Deputy Chairperson suspended the meeting at 12.36pm and subsequently adjourned the meeting until 10.00am on Friday 11 May 2001.

Ian R K Paisley

Chairperson

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