Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 08 May 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.32 p.m.        The meeting commenced in Open Session

The Chairperson welcomed Mr Chris Hazzard to the Committee and advised that Mr Hazzard’s Declaration of Interests would issue in due course.

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. Chairperson’s business

There was no Chairperson’s business to report.

3. Minutes

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Minutes of the meeting of 1 May 2012.

1.34 p.m. Mrs Kelly and Mr Swann joined the meeting.

4. Matters arising 

Noted: The Committee noted the updated Research paper on Rural Crime.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to meet with the PSNI to discuss developments in relation to tackling rural crime.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask if the Minister has any plans to progress the matter of farm safety.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from the Department on the Rural Development Programme and Dedicated Walking Routes to the Committee for the Environment.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to issue a press release to welcome the Dedicated Walking Routes.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Minister to request information on the number of applications to the Rural Development Programme Axis 3 that are still outstanding, the number of letters of offer which have issued and the number still awaiting clearance.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider Agenda item 8 next.

5. SL1: EU Commission response to the AFBI Scientific Report on Field Trials on Storage of Poultry Litter

The Committee considered the SL1 – The Nitrates Actions Programme (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012 and were content with the policy merits of the proposals as set out in the SL1.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department of the Environment to seek an update on Rose Energy. 

6. Bovine TB Review – Oral Briefing UFU/NIAPA

The following UFU/NIAPA representatives joined the meeting:

Harry Sinclair, President UFU

Wesley Aston, Policy Director UFU

Colin Smith, Policy Officer UFU

Michael Clarke, NIAPA

Sean Fitzpatrick, NIAPA

Donal McAtamney, NIAPA

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

1.55 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.

1.57 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

2.05 p.m. Mr Swann rejoined the meeting.

2.11 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a farmer and a member of the Ulster Farmers’ Union.

2.27 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

2.33 p.m. Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

2.36 p.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting.

2.41 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

2.55 p.m. Ms Boyle left the meeting.

2.59 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.

3.00 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

7. Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy 

The following Departmental official joined the meeting:

Mr Paddy Campbell, Deputy Principal.

Mr Campbell briefed the Committee and this was followed by a question and answer session. 

3.02 p.m. Mr Buchanan rejoined the meeting.

3.12 p.m. Mr Swann rejoined the meeting.

3.12 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

3.15 p.m. Mrs Dobson joined the meeting.

3.18 p.m. Mrs Kelly left the meeting.

3.20 p.m. Ms Boyle rejoined the meeting.

8. SL1: Docking of Working Dogs’ Tails (Certification and Identification) Regulations

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting:

Kate Davey, Principal Officer

Andrew Kell, Deputy Principal

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

3.27 p.m. Mr Irwin and Mr Swann left the meeting.

3.34 p.m. Mrs Kelly rejoined the meeting.

3.40 p.m. Mr Clarke left the meeting.

3.50 p.m. Mr Clarke rejoined the meeting.

3.51 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.

The Committee considered the SL1: Docking of Working Dogs’ Tails (Certification and Identification) Regulations and were content with the merits of the proposals as set out in the SL1.

9. Post Consultation of EQIA on Farm Modernisation Programme Tranche 3.

Agreed: The Committee noted the briefing paper from the Department on the Post Consultation of EQIA on the Farm Modernisation Programme Tranche 3 and agreed to request an oral briefing on the issue.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request an update on the current status of the Research Challenge Scheme.

4.00 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

4.02 p.m. Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

4.02 p.m. Mr McCarthy rejoined the meeting. 

10. SL1: Potatoes originating in Egypt Regulations (NI) 2012 

The Committee considered the SL1: Potatoes originating in Egypt Regulations (NI) 2012 and were content with the merits of the proposals as set out in the SL1.

11. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from the Committee for Health and Public Safety on Business in the Community, to the Minister.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward correspondence from the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure on the Ownership of Lough Neagh, to the Minister.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding the PfG Delivery Template.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee on its conclusions on CAP reform. The Committee agreed to request comparative research on the position of the Scottish Committee, DARD and the ARD Committee on CAP Reform.

12. Forward Work Programme 

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme. 

13. AOB

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson would engage in discussions on raising the profile of the Committee and return to the Committee with proposals.

4.09 p.m. Mr Swann rejoined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek a meeting with the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and the Minister to discuss the issue of the processing/outstanding Single Farm Payments.

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 15 May 2012, at 1.30pm, Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting was adjourned at 4.15 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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