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O’Neill meets with EU Presidency

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill met today in Dublin with her southern counterpart, Minister Simon Coveney TD, and representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
Thursday, 9 May 2013

Discussions at the meeting focused on CAP Reform negotiations, equine DNA, the poultry sector and what opportunities exist for cross border initiatives on the recycling of poultry litter.

Speaking afterwards Minister O’Neill said: “This meeting came at an opportune time in the CAP Reform negotiations where Trilogue discussions between the EU Council, Parliament and the Commission are ongoing and with the aim of achieving an agreement by the end of June 2013. We discussed issues of regional flexibility, active farmer definition and the transition mechanism towards flat rate payments, and I would be hopeful that they will be considered in the remaining stages of the EU CAP Reform negotiations.”

The Ministers also discussed fallout from the recent discoveries of Equine DNA. Minister O’Neill continued: “My officials continue to work closely on an all-island basis with DAFM officials, considering a range of equine matters including equine registration and the establishment of an equine identification database.

“There are plans at EU level to review horse passport requirements and my officials will be working with colleagues in DEFRA and DAFM to consider these. I have also asked the Equine Council NI to see how the operation of the horse passports can be improved locally.”

On discussion around the poultry sector and opportunities for cross border initiatives for recycling of poultry litter, Minister O’Neill said: “Both Minister Coveney and I recognise the importance of the broiler poultry sector in the north and south of Ireland, and discussed challenges faced by the industry. I updated Minister Coveney on progress with the SBRI Competition which will encourage the development of alternative technologies for the sustainable utilisation of poultry litter.”

Notes to Editors:

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