Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 09 October 2012

Venue: Room 30

1.33 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

Oliver McMullan

2. Chairperson’s business

The Chairperson reminded Members that the motion on the draft Welfare of Animals (Docking of Working Dogs’ Tails) and Miscellaneous Regulations (NI) 2012 has been scheduled for Monday 15 October 2012.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that the Deputy Chairperson will represent the Committee at two functions in Queen’s University on 10 and 19 October 2012.

The Chairperson advised the Committee that the arrangements have been made for the visit to Kilkeel fishing port on 18 October 2012 and asked Members to indicate their intention or otherwise to attend.

3. Minutes of the meetings  24 and 25  September 2012

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meetings held on 24 and 25 September 2012.

4. Matters arising

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the meeting on 11 September 2012.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding approved finishing/fattening units.

5. Single Farm Payments

The following representatives from NI Agricultural Consultants Association joined the meeting at 1.35 p.m.;

David Rankin, Chairperson
Mary McCormack, Vice Chairperson
Rory Gormley, Secretary

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

Mr McCarthy declared an interest as a recipient of the Single Farm Payment.

Mrs Dobson declared an interest as a beef and cereal farmer.

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a farmer

1.50 p.m. Mr McAleer joined the meeting.

1.55 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

1.55 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

1.57 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

2.06 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.

2.06 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

The following representatives from the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and NI Agricultural Producers Association (NIAPA) joined the meeting at 2.06p.m.

Harry Sinclair, President UFU

Wesley Aston, Policy Director UFU

Jim Carmichael, Development Officer NIAPA

Eileen Cassidy, Secretary NIAPA

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

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a recipient of the Single Farm Payment.

2.34 p.m. Mrs Dobson rejoined the meeting.

2.35 p.m. Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

2.45 p.m. Mr McAleer rejoined the meeting.

The UFU indicated that they would forward details of meetings they have had with processors and retailers.

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.08 p.m.

Andrew Elliott, Director

Pauline Rooney, Senior Principal

Dr Richard Crowe, Agricultural Inspector

Valerie Bell, Grade 7

A question and answer session took place.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request details of the revised guidance for ineligible scrub.

3.10 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

6. Oral Briefing DARD: The Strangford Lough (Sea Fishing Exclusion Zone) Regulations (NI) 2012

 The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 3.50 p.m.;

Mark McCaughan, Chief Fisheries Officer

Matt Service, Principal Scientific Officer (AFBI)

Paddy Campbell, Deputy Principal

3.50 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.

3.50 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.

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

4.05 p.m. Mr McCarthy rejoined the meeting.

4.09 p.m. Mr Swann rejoined the meeting.

4.16 p.m. Mr Byrne left the meeting.

4.18 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

4.22 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request details on the Pot Fishing Management Plan and to request that the Department considers a fishing representative for the Restoration Working Group.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Strangford Lough (Sea Fishing Exclusion Zone) Regulations (NI) 2012 should progress to the next legislative stage.

7. Written Briefing DARD: Pre-consultation Review of Animal By-Products

Agreed: The Committee noted the pre-consultation on the review of Animal By-Products and agreed that the Department would return to the Committee with a detailed analysis of the consultation responses.

4.31 p.m. Mr Swann rejoined the meeting.

8. Written briefing DARD: Update on CAP Reform

Noted: The Committee noted the departmental briefing paper on the update on CAP Reform.

9. SR 2012/335: The Alien and Locally Absent Species in Aquaculture Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed;

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the Alien and Locally Absent Species in Aquaculture Regulations (NI) 2012 and has no objection to the laying of the Rule.

10. SR 2012/336 (c.31): The Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries (2007 Order) (Commencement No 2) Order (NI) 2012

Noted: The Committee noted the Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries (2007 Order) (Commencement No 2) Order (NI) 2012.

11. Dog Breeding Establishments Stakeholder Event Feedback

Agreed: The Committee noted the additional responses from stakeholders following the Dog Breeding Establishments Event and agreed to forward them to the Department, along with the notes taken by the Assembly Research Officers.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to publish the Research notes on the Committee website and advise stakeholders that they can now be accessed via the Assembly website.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a visit to a large dog breeding establishment on 8 November 2012.

12. End of Session Report

Agreed: The Committee agreed the End of Session Report and agreed that it should be published on the Assembly website.

13. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel regarding the relocation of DARD HQ and agreed to forward the letter to the Department for comment and request that the Committee has sight of the Business Case.

4.37 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the correspondence from the Department regarding the DARD HQ relocation to the Committee for Finance and Personnel for information.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Social Development regarding Mapping poverty and Social Deprivation and agreed to request a written update from the Department on this issue.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on Lay Tb Testing Pilot Post-Project Evaluation Report. The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request an evidence session on Lay Testing.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Health, Social Services and Public Safety regarding the Rural Health provision letter to the UFU.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety regarding participation in the Youth Talks to mark World Suicide Day.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment regarding it’s Department’s response to the Committee report into Developing the NI Economy through Innovation, Research and Development.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the Re-Opening of the Research Challenge Fund.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on Dual Use Claims.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from NI Electricity on the Statement of Charges for Connection to the NIE Distribution System.

14. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

15. AOB

Agreed: The Committee agreed to invite four of the main supermarkets to brief it on issues raised during the recent debate and motion on the Crisis in Farming.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request the detail surrounding the £15million which has been set aside to help with the farming crisis.

16. Date and time of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 16 October 2012, at 1.30pm, Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting was adjourned at 4.48 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

 

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