Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 15 May 2012

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.30 p.m.        The meeting commenced in Open Session

1.     Apologies

There were no apologies.

2.     Chairperson's Business

There was no Chairperson's Business to report.

3.     Minutes of the meeting 8 May 2012

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Minutes of the meeting held on 8 May 2012.

4.     Matters arising

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the NI Marine Bill - Coastal Erosion.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson would meet with the PSNI to discuss agri-crime/rural theft.

1.34 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.

1.35 p.m. Ms Boyle joined the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department of Regional Development and the Department of the Environment to ask for details on any specific measures being taken to tackle road safety.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the Better Regulations Action Plan 2010/2011 and agreed to write to the Minister to ask for an update on the report and request that the Committee receive a briefing.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department regarding issues raised at the Committee meeting on 24 April 2012.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the draft Press Release on Dedicated Walking Routes.

5.     Bovine TB Review - Oral Briefing Farmers for Action

The following representatives from Farmers for Action joined the meeting;

Mr William Taylor

Mr Sean McAuley

The representatives briefed the Committee and this was followed by a Question and Answer session.

1.56 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

1.57 p.m. Mr Swann joined the meeting.

Mrs Dobson declared an interest as a farmer.

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a farmer.

The representatives agreed to provide the Committee with further information on specific areas in England where deer are infected with TB and the statistics relating to the length of time infected animals are left before they are lifted for disposal.

2.07 p.m. Ms Boyle left the meeting.

2.16 p.m. Ms Boyle rejoined the meeting.

2.20 p.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting.

2.30 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting.

2.32 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department of the Environment detailing the legislation governing badgers in Northern Ireland.

2.45 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek a detailed breakdown for compensation payments for the 2011/2012 period

6.    Review of Alternative Technologies to Fluidised Bed Combustion for Poultry Litter Utilisation/Disposal - Oral Briefing DARD

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting;

Dr Sinclair Mayne, Departmental Scientific Advisor

Mr Brian Ervine, Principal Officer

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

2.56 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.

2.57 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.

3.00 p.m. Ms Boyle rejoined the meeting.

3.02 p.m. Mr Hazzard rejoined the meeting.

3.07 p.m. Mr McCarthy rejoined the meeting

3.30 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.

7.     Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing with the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from Minister Simon Coveney advising of his unavailability in the near future to meet with the Committee.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department on the finalisation of the Study Report on Rural Tourism.

Noted: The Committee noted the Written Ministerial Statement from the Northern Ireland Office on the Application of the Government’s Legislative Programme to Northern Ireland.

8.     AOB

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek views on vets who may refuse to dock working dogs' tails. 

9.    Date and time of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 22 May 2012, at 1.30pm, Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting was adjourned at 3.49 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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