Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 11 September 2012

Venue: Room 30

1.35 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

The Chairperson welcomed Mr Declan McAteer to the Committee and
advised that a copy of his Declaration of Interests had been tabled.

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. Chairperson's business

Agreed: The Committee agreed the caption to accompany a Committee photograph taken before the start of the meeting.

The Chairperson advised Members that he would be issuing a letter to Michaela Boyle to thank her for her work with the Committee.

The Chairperson advised Members that attendance figures for meetings held in the 2011/2012 session have been issued via email. Members were advised to check them for accuracy and report any discrepancies to the Clerk.

Agreed: The Chairperson reminded Members that the Stakeholder Event on the Welfare of Animals Dog Breeding Establishments will take place on Tuesday 18 September 2012 in place of the regular Committee meeting. Paul Frew, Joe Byrne and Joanne Dobson agreed to facilitate a discussion group and report back at the end of the event.

The Chairperson reminded Members that a meeting with the PSNI has been arranged for Wednesday 26 September 2012 to discuss Rural Crime. Members were advised to inform the clerk of their availability for this meeting.

The Chairperson advised Members that he had received an invitation from the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment to an ASDA Supplier Development Academy Dinner and Presentation in Parliament Buildings on 20 September 2012.

The Chairperson advised Members that the Committee will receive its final evidence session today on Bovine TB, after which the Committee will move into closed session to consider issues relevant to the review.

3. Minutes of the meeting 3 July 2012

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 3 July 2012.

1.40 p.m. Mr William Irwin joined the meeting.

4. Matters arising

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Minister regarding the Foyle Association of Salmon and Trout Anglers and agreed to forward it to FASTA for comment.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the Committee meeting on 12 June, 19 June and 26 June 2012. The Committee agreed to seek clarification regarding Cattle Identification.

Noted: The Committee noted the memo from the clerk advising that copies of departmental consultation documents on Draft Cattle Identification (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2012, Changes to Standstill and Registration of Livestock Dealers and Statutory Biosecurity Guidance for Brucellosis, have been received and are held in the Committee Office.

Noted: The Committee noted the copied correspondence on the Reform of Northern Ireland Credit Unions – Financial Service Bill Legislative Consent Motion, which issued from the Department to the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

1.50 p.m. Mr McMullan joined the meeting.
1.51 p.m. Mr Hazzard and Mr McAleer joined the meeting.
1.55 p.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting.
1.55 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.
1.56 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

5. Oral briefing DARD: Delivery Plans, Programme for Government

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting;

Graeme Wilkinson, Assistant Secretary
Keith Morrison, Assistant Secretary
Paul Donnolly, Principal Officer
Colin Hart, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer

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

Mrs Dobson declared an interest as a farmer.

2.03 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.
2.15 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.
2.23 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.
2.30 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request additional information regarding the decision to relocate DARD HQ to Ballykelly and the decision to relocate Forestry Service to Fermanagh and to request that the Committee has sight of the Business Case.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask for clarification on the administrative process used for Strategic Project applications in the Rural Development Programme.

6. Written Briefing DARD: Disease of Animals, Power of Entry

Agreed: The Committee noted the Departmental briefing papers on the proposed Disease of Animals, Power of Entry Consultation and agreed to write to the Department to request a detailed of analysis of the consultation responses.

2.31 p.m Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

7. Written Briefing DARD: The Scrapie Monitored Flocks Scheme (SMFS)

Agreed: The Committee noted the Departmental briefing papers on the proposed Scrapie Monitored Flocks Scheme Consultation and agreed to write to the Department to request a detailed analysis of the consultation responses.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request an explanation as to why the percentage cost increase is bigger than the rate of inflation.

8. Written Briefing DARD: The Northern Ireland Poultry Health Assurance Scheme (Fees) (Amendment) Order (NI) 2013

Agreed: The Committee noted the Departmental briefing papers on the proposed Northern Ireland Poultry Health Assurance Scheme (Fees) (Amendment) Order (NI) 2012 Consultation and agreed to write to the Department to request a detailed analysis of the consultation responses.

9. SR 2012/254: The Agriculture (Student Fees) Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: The Committee discussed the SR 2012/254: The Agriculture (Student Fees) Regulations (NI) 2012 and agreed to defer consideration of this issue until the meeting on 18 September 2012.

10. SR 2012/299: The Marketing of Fresh Horticulture Produce (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012

Question put and agreed;

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development and considered the Marketing of Fresh Horticulture Produce (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012 and, subject to comment from the Examiner of Statutory Rules, has no objection to the rule.

11. SR 2012/305: The Northern Ireland Poultry Health Assurance Scheme (Fees) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012

Question put and agreed;

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural has considered the Northern Ireland Poultry Health Assurance Scheme (Fees) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 and, subject to comment from the Examiner of Statutory Rules, has no objection to the Rule.

12. SL1: the Blue Tongue (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: The Committee considered The Bluetongue (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012 and were content with the merits of the policy.

2.45 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.

13. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from Omagh District Council requesting to meet with the Committee to discuss issues of mutual interest and agreed to forward the letter to the Department for comment.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for the Environment regarding the restoration of Annesley Gardens, Castlewellan Forest Park and agreed to forward it to Forestry Service for comment.

2.47 p.m. Mr McAleer rejoined the meeting.
2.50 p.m. Mr Swann rejoined the meeting.
2.50 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.
2.53 p.m. Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Employment and Learning regarding its inquiry into Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance in NI and agreed to invite CAFRE to give oral evidence to the Committee on its career advice and guidance.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to pass the correspondence from the Committee for Employment and Learning to the Department for comment on career advice and guidance regarding CAFRE courses.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the OFMDFM Committee regarding the Legislative Proposals for the Office of the Ombudsman.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the NI Civil Service Equal Pay Settlement.

Noted: The Committee noted the invitation from the Department to a postgraduate Studentship Seminar on Thursday 20 September 2012.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding a proposed six week consultation on Dual Use Claims for Single Farm Payments and Less Favoured Areas. The Committee agreed to request an oral briefing from the Department once the consultation process has concluded.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding the Scientific Advice for Setting Fishing Total Allowance Catches in 2012.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Minister regarding Forthcoming Financial Corrections.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries (2007 Order) (Commencement No 2) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the UK Consultation on a Rapid Assessment Developed by Forest Research concerning Chalara Fraxinea and agreed to request a copy of any submission the Department makes to this consultation.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Agri-Food Board regarding the development of a strategic action plan for the agri-food sector. The Committee agreed to write to the Agri-Food Board to request that they are kept informed of the outcome.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the Outcome of the Consultation on the protected zone status of Liriomyza SPP (Leaf Miner) and the update on the Schmallenberg virus.
Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Met Office regarding their annual publication "Explaining Extreme Events of 2011 from a Climate Perspective".

Noted: The Committee noted that Ofcom have forwarded their Communication Market Report 2012.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from Maria Burke regarding the case of Lennox the dog.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Ulster Farmers' Union on Enabling Legislation on National Parks.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from Lord Morrow MLA regarding the forthcoming consultation on proposed changes in the law to tackle human trafficking. The Committee agreed to write to Lord Morrow to seek clarification on Gang Master legislation.

14. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a presentation from the Department on Single Farm Payments for 2 October 2012 and agreed that this would take place in Parliament Buildings.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to visit a fishing port on the afternoon of Thursday 18 October 2012.

3.00 p.m. Mr Byrne left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the National Sheep Association to ask if they would wish to meet with the Committee.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Joint Committee for Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture in the Oireachtas to seek their position on CAP and request that both Committees meet in the future.

3.05 p.m. Mr Buchanan rejoined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

15. Oral Briefing RaISe – Bovine TB

The Senior Assembly Research Officer and Research Officer briefed the Committee on Multiple Claims for Bivine TB, Bovine TB In Wales – Key Milestones 2008/12 and statistical differences between private vets and DARD vets.
This was followed by a question and answer session.

3.30 p.m. Mr Byrne rejoined the meeting.
3.31 p.m. Mr McCarthy rejoined the meeting.
3.35 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.
3.45 p.m. Mrs Dobson rejoined the meeting.
3.50 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

16. Bovine TB Review – Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting;

Colette McMaster, Assistant Secretary
Colin Hart, Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer
Ian McKee, Principal Officer

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

4.00 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.
4.07 p.m. Mr McAleer rejoined the meeting.
4.15 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.
4.25 p.m. Mr Clarke left the meeting.
4.25 p.m. Mrs Dobson rejoined the meeting.
4.30 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.
4.32 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.
4.39 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.
4.40 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.
4.45 p.m. Mrs Dobson and Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.
4.46 p.m. Mr McMullan rejoined the meeting.
4.52 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.
4.55 p.m. Mr McMullan rejoined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request information on proposals for Finishing/Fattening Units.

4.58 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.
5.05 p.m. Mr Swann rejoined the meeting.
5.08 p.m. Mr McAleer rejoined the meeting.
5.10 p.m. Mr Clarke rejoined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to move to Agenda item 18 and 19 next.

17. AOB

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider a Committee Motion on the current Farming Crisis at the next meeting.

18. Date and time of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural
Development will take place on Tuesday 18 September 2012, at 1.30pm, Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

19. Bovine TB Review – Committee Consideration

5.10 p.m. The Committee moved into Closed Session.

The following Committee Members were present;

Mr Frew, Mr Byrne, Mr Buchanan, Mr Clarke, Mrs Dobson, Mr Hazzard, Mr Irwin, Mr McAleer, Mr McMullan, Mr Swann.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a meeting on Monday 24 September 2012 at 12.00 p.m. to consider the Bovine TB Review.

The meeting was adjourned at 5.24 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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