Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 19 March 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.30 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

There were no apologies.

2. Chairpersons Business

Noted: The Committee noted a memorandum on the conference attended by Joe Byrne, Deputy Chairperson, in relation to at a meeting of Chairpersons of Agriculture and Fisheries Committees of the EU Member States Dublin on 11 March 2013.

Agreed: The Committee agreed on the wording of a press release to be issued on this event.

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Deputy Chairperson would present the keys issues discussed at the conference in connection with the dairy industry at the next meeting.

Noted: The Committee noted that the Dog Breeding Establishments Regulations, on which the Committee did substantial work and which were debated and affirmed in the Plenary on 18th February will come into operation on 1st April.

Noted: The Committee noted that the EFRA Committee acknowledged receipt of the Committee report into bovine TB and the Clerk indicated that it has proven useful and copies have been sent to the EFRA Committee Members.

3. Minutes of the meeting 12 March 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 12 March 2013.

4. Matters Arising

Noted: The Committee noted the weekly update from the Department on Ash Dieback.

Noted: Members noted two pieces of tabled correspondence from the Department in relation to additional information requested on CIS, Scrapie Monitoring fees, acceptable field boundaries, and on the savings deliver plans.

Mr Swann joined the meeting at 1.34 p.m.

5. Oral briefing DARD: Agri-Environment Scheme Update

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 1.36 p.m.

Richard Crowe: Head of Countryside Management Unit;

Herbie Jones: Head of Countryside Management Development Branch; &

Alan Galbraith: Head of Countryside Management Delivery Branch.

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

Mr Irwin declared an interest as a farmer and a participant in the Countryside Management Scheme. 

Mr McAleer joined the meeting at 1.37 p.m.

Mr McMullan joined the meeting at 1.45 p.m.

Mr Buchanan joined the meeting at 1.51 p.m.

Mr McCarthy left the meeting at 1.55 p.m.

Mr Byrne left the meeting at 2.01 p.m.

Mr Swann left the meeting at 2.13 p.m.

Mr Byrne re-joined the meeting at 2.17 p.m.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek further information from the Departments regarding outstanding appeals in relation to the Agri-Environment Scheme. 

6. Oral briefing DARD: CAP Reform

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.32 p.m.

Seamus McErlean: Principal Agricultural Economist, Grade 7

Mark McLean: Senior Agricultural Economist, Deputy Principal

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

Mr Clarke left the meeting at 2.33 p.m.

Mr Byrne left the meeting at 2.57 p.m.

3.01 p.m. Mr Irwin declared an interest as a Dairy Farmer

Mr McAleer re-joined the meeting at 3.03 p.m.

3.04 p.m. Mrs Dobson declared an interest as the wife of a Beef & Cereal Farmer

Mr Byrne re-joined the meeting at 3.05 p.m.

Ms Dobson left the meeting at 3.14 p.m.

Mr McCarthy re-joined the meeting at 3.21 p.m.

Ms Dobson re-joined the meeting at 3.23 p.m.

7. SL1 Review Of The Animal By-Products (Identification) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 And Transfer Of Provisions To The Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed with the merits of the policy.

8. SR 2013/44 The Dogs (Guard Dog Kennels) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013

Agreed: That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the SR 2013/44 The Dogs (Guard Dog Kennels) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013 and has no objections to the rule.

9. Correspondence

Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from the Committee for Enterprise Trade and Investment on the Financial Capability Strategy for Northern Ireland.

Noted: The Committee noted the correspondence from RAISE regarding a copy of a report sent to the European Parliament regarding fishing in 2011.

Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from Sustrans regarding staff changes.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from UFU regarding the recent correspondence from the Justice Committee on Reasonable Force. Members agreed to forward this correspondence to the Justice Committee.

Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from the OFMDFM Committee on the Investment Strategy, quarter 3, 2012.

Mr Irwin left the meeting at 3.38 p.m.

10. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed to the Forward Work Programme as scheduled.

11. AOB

Agreed: Members agreed to write to the Minister to seek what plans her Department have in order to help secure the future of the Whitefish Industry in Northern Ireland.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask what relationship it and the Agri-Food Bioscience Institute has with the Institute of Global Food Security at Queens.

Agreed: Members agreed to write to the Department asking for an update on the current situation in relation to the Horsemeat contamination of beef products, given the recent discovery of horse DNA in beef products processed at an NI production plant.

12. Date of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 9 April 2013 at

1.30 p.m. in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting adjourned at 3.42 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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