Minutes of Proceedings

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 15 November 2011

Venue: Room 30, Parliament Buildings

2.37pm The meeting commenced in Open Session

1. Apologies

None

2. Minutes

Agreed: The Committee agreed the Minutes of the meeting of 8 November 2011.

3. Chairpersons Business

Agreed : The Committee agreed the draft press release, subject to one amendment, on the meeting with the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture.

Agreed : The Committee agreed to leave agenda item 4, Matters Arising, until later in the meeting.

4. Presentation: DARD – The Role of the Department in the Context of the Committee’s Scrutiny Role

The following officials joined the meeting:

Mr Gerry Lavery, Permanent Secretary;

Dr Mark Browne, Deputy Secretary; and

Mr David Small, Deputy Secretary.

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

Agreed: The Committee agreed that the Department should look into the liability of the provider of Single Farm Payment maps prior to 2004 and report back to the Committee on the matter.

Agreed: The Committee further agreed that they should request sight of the agenda and minutes of the Minister’s meeting on CAP Reform and the CFP in Brussels.

Agreed: The Committee agreed they should be provided with the findings of the DARD and Health & Safety Executive analysis of farm accidents in due course.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to request that the Ministerial statement on 21 November 2011 should address points made by the C & AG in the General Report.

3.00 pm Robin Swann joined the meeting.

3.04 pm Willie Clarke and Kieran McCarthy joined the meeting.

3.22 pm Conor Murphy left the meeting.

3.34 pm William Irwin left the meeting.

3.41 pm William Irwin re-joined the meeting.

5. Presentation: RaISe – Research Paper on Compensation Arrangements for Bovine TB

The Assembly Research and Information Service Officer briefed the Committee on compensation arrangements for Bovine TB in other countries. This was followed by a question and answer session.

Agreed: The Committee agreed to forward the research paper to the Department to inform its consultations on the compensation arrangements for Bovine TB.

Agreed:The Committee agreed to write to the Minster to raise concerns over Bio-Security.

3.47 pm Trevor Clarke left the meeting.

3.50 pm Thomas Buchanan left the meeting.

3.53 pm Jo-Anne Dobson left the meeting.

3.59 pm Kieran McCarthy left the meeting.

4.01 pm Oliver McMullan left the meeting.

4.10 pm Thomas Buchanan and Jo-Anne Dobson re-joined the meeting.

4.15 pm Kieran McCarthy re-joined the meeting.

6. Committee for Finance and Personnel ‘Review of Financial Process’ – Statutory Committees Input

Agreed: The Committee agreed the terms of the draft reply to be forwarded to the Committee for Finance and Personnel.

7. Pre-Consultation: Draft Dogs (Licensing & Identification) (Amendment) Regulations (NI) 2012

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content that this matter should move to consultation stage, provided that the Department returns with a detailed analysis of consultation responses.

8. Pre-consultation: Proposals to restrict certain fishing activities within the Rathlin Island Special Area of Conservation & Special Protection Areas

Agreed: The Committee agreed that it was content that this matter should move to consultation stage, provided that the Department returns with a detailed analysis of consultation responses.

Agreed: The Committee further agreed to raise the issue of possible compensation for the people who may lose out financially through these proposed restrictions.

9. SL1: Foyle area and Carlingford Area (Angling) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

Agreed: Members agreed that The Foyle Area and Carlingford Area (Angling) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 should progress to the next legislative stage.

10. SL1: Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations (NI) 2011

Agreed: Members agreed that The Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations (NI) 2011 should progress to the next legislative stage.

11. SL1 – The Welfare of Animals (Permitted Procedures by Lay Persons) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012

Agreed: Members agreed that The Welfare of Animals (Permitted Procedures by Lay Persons) Regulations (NI) 2011 should progress to the next legislative stage.

12. SR 2011/295 Plant Protection Products Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011

Question put and Agreed:

That the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development has considered the Plant Protection Products Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011 and has no objection to the rule.

13. Matters Arising and Correspondence

Matters Arising

Noted : The Committee noted a report from the Clerk on his recent meeting with the RDC, LAGs and JCCs in relation to the planned NIRDP stakeholder event scheduled for 19 January 2012.

Agreed : The Committee agreed that the Clerk would provide a draft submission for the EFRA Committee inquiry into CAP Reform.

(a) Correspondence issued

The Committee noted correspondence issued since the meeting on 8 November 2011.

(b) Correspondence received

Agreed : The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister in relation the Food Strategy Board and agreed to write to the Minister to ask that the Committee be kept informed of developments.

Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister in relation to Planning Applications for Rural Businesses and Wind Turbines stating that she will meet with Minister Attwood on this issue shortly and will update the Committee on the outcome of the meeting.

Noted : The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister, regarding the Committee’s meeting on 11 October 2011, stating that the Department will write to the LMC seeking confirmation that the Farm Quality Assurance Scheme does not duplicate inspections by DARD officials and will meet with them to discuss improvements.

Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from the Minister, regarding the Committee’s meeting on 11 October 2011, stating that whilst she has sympathy with the plight of the potato farmers caught up in the Moroccan incident, she is unable to make compensation available and does not see any value in making representation to EU or other Member States.

Noted : The Committee noted correspondence from the Department in relation to CAP reform consultation.

Agreed : The Committee noted correspondence from Georg Hausler, on behalf of Agriculture Commissioner Ciolos, stating that he is unable to meet with the Committee. The Committee agreed that the Clerk should reply to Herr Hausler to explain that the Committee’s visit has been postponed.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and the tabled correspondence from the Fisheries Commissioner in relation to the Committee’s visit to Brussels. Members agreed that the Clerk should reply to Ms Hoffman to explain that the Committee’s visit has been postponed.

Agreed: The Committee noted a request from the South Antrim Rural Network to meet with the Committee in relation to DARD’s Anti-Poverty & Rural Development Programmes. The Committee agreed to incorporate this request into the Committee’s Forward Programme on 6 December 2011.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the ETI Committee calling for written evidence from Departments in relation to its Inquiry into developing the Northern Ireland economy through innovation, research & development. The Committee agreed to forward the request to the Department and for the Department to respond directly to the ETI Committee, whilst copying the response to the Committee. The Committee further agreed to make its own submission to the Inquiry and the Clerk was asked to draft a suitable submission.

Agreed: The Committee noted an invitation on an All Party Notice on European Environmental Regulations, Directives & Decisions meeting which will be held at 1.30pm on Tuesday 22 November. The Committee agreed it would be beneficial to write to the ONIEB to seek information on early notification of relevant EU issues and to ask the Department to report, on a regular basis, on actions it is taking on emerging EU issues.

Noted: The Committee noted an invitation from Agenda NI in relation to its Agriculture & Food Seminar on 1 December in Dunadry Hotel.

Agreed: The Committee noted correspondence from the Ulster Wildlife Trust to the EU Environment Commission in relation to the Management of Strangford Lough SAC. The Committee agreed that the Minister should copy the Committee into any reply she may make and further agreed that the Chairperson should meet with the Chairperson of the Environment Committee to discuss a common approach.

Noted: The Committee noted correspondence from the Rural Network NI in relation to its presentation to Committee on 27 September stating that they would like to Committee to address the issue of having a simpler scheme for ‘low-cost’ projects. The Committee agreed to address this as part of the Committee Stakeholder Event.

4. Any Other Business

Agreed: The Committee noted that next Tuesday, 22 November 2011, there will be a visit to the Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use, Queens University Belfast. Members agreed to make the Committee team aware of their availability for the trip.

Noted: The Committee noted the Forward Work Programme.

5.04 pm Willie Clarke left the meeting.

5. Date of next meeting

Agreed: The next meeting of the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development will take place on Tuesday 22 November 2011, at 3.15pm, Room 30, in Parliament Buildings.

The meeting was adjourned at 5.06pm

Paul Frew, Chairperson, Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development

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