Agriculture Committee Goes Dutch

Session: 2008/2009

Date: 31 March 2009

Reference: AGR 06/08/09

A delegation from the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development is to visit a poultry litter incinerator in The Netherlands. The visit—led by the Deputy Chairperson, Mr Tom Elliott MLA—will allow the Committee to see the technology that European countries use to dispose of chicken litter.

Speaking before the visit, Mr Elliott said, “This is an important visit for a number of reasons. First, it will allow the Committee to see how other European governments ensure that they comply with the Nitrates Directives. This is also a serious problem for the Northern Ireland poultry sector and one that needs to be addressed urgently. The Committee has not come to a conclusion about the use of this technology and will, therefore, want to take this opportunity to explore the positive and negative aspects of it.

“Second, this visit allows the Committee the opportunity to explore other relevant matters with the Dutch Standing Committee for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. We will look at issues like dioxin contamination, controls to prevent the spread of bluetongue, how they eradicated TB and other matters that have been before both Committees in recent times.

“Finally, these meetings will allow the Committee to promote Northern Ireland farming and the quality of our farm produce directly within Europe. We strongly believe that we should take every opportunity to recognise the high quality results and outputs that come about following the labours of our farmers.”

ENDS

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