Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 19 June 2012

Venue: Room 30

1.34 p.m.       The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

None.

2. Chairperson's Business

The Chairperson advised the Committee of the meeting he and the Deputy Chairperson had with Margaret Ritchie MP regarding Single Farm Payments and other agricultural issues.

3. Minutes of the meeting 12 June 2012

Agreed:          The Committee agreed the Minutes of the meetings held on 12 June 2012.

1.35 p.m. Mr Irwin joined the meeting
1.36 p.m. Mr Swann joined the meeting

4. Bovine TB Review – Oral Briefings

The following representatives from the Ulster Wildlife Trust joined the meeting;
Jennifer Fulton, Chief Executive Officer
Joe Furphy, Chairperson
Conor McKinney, Living Landscapes Manager

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

1.40 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.
1.45 p.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting.
1.55 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.
1.56 p.m. Mr McCarthy left the meeting.
1.58 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.
2.02 p.m. Mr Byrne joined the meeting.
2.03 p.m. Mr Clarke left the meeting.
2.03 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.
2.07 p.m. Mr McMullan rejoined the meeting.

Agreed:          The Committee agreed to request a copy of research paper referred to by the Ulster Wildlife Trust on the behaviour of badgers infected with TB.

The following representatives from the National Trust joined the meeting;
Heather Thompson, Director for Northern Ireland
Philomena Davidson, Wildlife and Countryside Advisor
Patrick Begg, Rural Enterprise Director

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

2.10 p.m. Mr Clarke rejoined the meeting.
2.10 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.
2.15 p.m. Mr Swann left the meeting.

2.23 p.m. Ms Boyle joined the meeting.
Mrs Dobson declared an interest as a farmer.
Mr Irwin declared an interest as a farmer.

Agreed:          The Committee agreed to seek the date of stakeholder event in Greenmount College which the National Trust participated.

Agreed:          The Committee agreed to seek a copy of the National Trust information video on its four year project in Devon.

The Assembly Research Officer briefed the Committee on The 4 areas Badger Cull conducted in Ireland. This was followed by a question and answer session.

2.45 p.m. Mr Swann rejoined the meeting.
2.50 p.m. Mr Buchanan rejoined the meeting.
2.59 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting
2.59 p.m. Mr Hazzard left the meeting

Agreed:          The Committee agreed to seek further research on the comparative costs for the 4 areas trials conducted in Ireland.

5. SR The Docking of Working Dogs’ Tails Regulations (NI) 2012

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting;
Kate Davey, Principal Officer
Andrew Kell, Deputy Principal
Paddy McGuckian, Divisional Veterinary Officer

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

3.07 a.m. Mrs Dobson rejoined the meeting.
3.30 p.m. Ms Boyle left the meeting.

Agreed:          The Committee agreed that consideration of the SR The Docking of Working Dogs’ Tails Regulations (NI) 2012 should be deferred until the Department resolves the issues raised by VetsNI. 

6. Matters arising

Noted:            The Committee noted the correspondence from the Department dealing with issues raised at the meetings on 17 May and 22 May 2012.

                        The Chairperson advised that Committee that figures quoted at last week’s meeting regarding the estimated expenditure for the Remote Sensing Project were incorrect. The Department has since advised that the figures should actually be £240K for three years as opposed to for each of the three years.

7. Correspondence

Agreed:          The Committee the correspondence from the Minister regarding the Departmental appeal against the Order made by the General Court regarding CAP allowance and agreed to request that the Committee is kept appraised of the situation.

Noted:            The Committee noted the invitation from the Department to the launch of the Rural White Paper Action Plan on 28 June 2012 at Greenmount Campus.

Noted:            The Committee noted the correspondence from Tesco’s regarding its forthcoming campaign on the promotion of produce from Northern Ireland.

Noted:            The Committee noted the correspondence from Stream Bioenergy advising that they have written to the Minister with a proposal for the processing of poultry litter.

8.    Forward Work Programme

Agreed:          The Committee agreed the draft Press Release regarding the briefing from the Agri-Food Strategy Board at the meeting on 26 June 2012.

Agreed:          The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

9.    AOB

There was no other business.

10. Date and time of the next meeting

Agreed:          The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural

                        Development will take place on Tuesday 26 June 2012, at 1.30pm,

                        Room 30, Parliament Buildings

The meeting was adjourned at 3.56 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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