Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 26 February 2013

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

1.35 p.m. The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

The apologies are recorded above.

2. Chairperson's business

The Chairperson reminded Members to advise the clerk by the end of the week of their intention to travel to Brussels on 24 April 2013.

The Chairperson advised Members that the Deputy Chairperson would attend a meeting of the Chairpersons of Agriculture and Fisheries Committees in Dublin on 10/11 March 2013.

3. Minutes of the meeting 19 February 2013

Agreed: The Committee agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 19 February 2013.

4. Matters arising

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask for a breakdown of calls received to the Central Investigation Services hotline and the number of cases reported by other means.

Agreed: The Committee considered the SL1: The Scrapie Monitoring (Fees) Regulations (NI) 2013 and were content with the merits of the policy. The Committee agreed to write to the Department to request a breakdown of costs to include where costs have been increased, why and by how much.

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

Agreed: The Committee agreed the contents of the draft letter to supermarkets on horsemeat issue and agreed that is should issue.

5. Committee Review on Tree Disease: Oral Briefing Confor

The following representatives of Confor joined the meeting at 1.45 p.m.

James Hamilton-Stubber, NI Chairperson, Confor
Tony Johnston, NI Woodlands

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

2.00 p.m. Mr Clarke joined the meeting.
2.02 p.m. Mr McAleer left the meeting.
2.08 p.m. Mr Byrne left the meeting.
2.08 p.m. Mr McMullan joined the meeting.
2.15 p.m. Mr Buchanan joined the meeting.
2.19 p.m. Mr McAleer rejoined the meeting.
2.21 p.m. Mrs Dobson left the meeting.
2.35 p.m. Mr Byrne rejoined the meeting.
2.41 p.m. Mr Irwin left the meeting.
2.45 p.m. Mrs Dobson rejoined the meeting.
2.49 p.m. Mr Irwin rejoined the meeting.
2.50 p.m. Mr Clarke left the meeting.

6. Oral Briefing DARD: SFP - issuing of LPIS Maps 2013

The following Departmental officials joined the meeting at 2.55 p.m.

Andrew Elliott, Assistant Secretary
Pauline Rooney, Senior Principal Officer

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

Mr McCarthy declared an interest.
Mr Irwin declared an interest.

3.35 p.m. Mr McMullan left the meeting.
3.52 p.m. Mr Buchanan left the meeting.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to write to the Department to seek clarification on what constitutes a fence when marking out a field boundary.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to seek a written update from the Department on the progress of the LPIS Maps 2013 followed by an oral briefing before summer recess.

7. Written Brief: Implementation of the EU Dairy Package

Agreed: The Committee agreed to advise the Department that it was content with the implementation of the EU Dairy Package Regulation No. 261/2012.

8. Correspondence

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule a briefing with the Landscape Institute NI.

Noted: The Committee noted the copied correspondence from Farmers for Action on the horsemeat scandal.

Agreed: The Committee noted the correspondence from the Committee for Finance and Personnel on the Departmental Savings Delivery Plans September 2012. The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask what the adverse impact on the delivery of frontline services in certain areas will be.

Noted: The Committee noted the information provided by the Assembly Research Officer on the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade Regulation.

9. Forward Work Programme

Agreed: The Committee agreed to schedule an informal meeting with Dr Ken Baird, Chairman of the Trace Assured Board.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to reschedule a number of Forestry SL1's to post Easter, as requested by the Department. The Committee agreed to write to the Department to ask why there has been delay in bringing forward the regulations.

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Forward Work Programme.

10. AOB

Agreed: The Committee agreed to consider an EFRA Committee Inquiry on Bovine TB Vaccination at the next meeting.

11. Date of the next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 5 March 2013 at
1.30 p.m. in Room 30, Parliament Buildings.

The meeting adjourned at 4.02 p.m.

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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