Official Report: Minutes of Evidence

Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, meeting on Thursday, 9 May 2024


Members present for all or part of the proceedings:

Mr Tom Elliott (Chairperson)
Mr Declan McAleer (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr John Blair
Mr Tom Buchanan
Mr William Irwin
Mr Patsy McGlone
Miss Michelle McIlveen
Miss Áine Murphy

Pet Abduction Bill Legislative Consent Motion: Committee Report

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): We have had only a short time to consider the legislative consent motion (LCM), but we know that the Westminster Bill has been welcomed by key stakeholders, as it has by stakeholders here. Once it receives Royal Assent, it will require a commencement order to introduce the provisions in Northern Ireland, prior to the introduction of that order. The Department intends to engage with stakeholders in Northern Ireland so that there will be a further opportunity for stakeholders to comment.

If members are content, we will go into private session to consider the draft report. We will return to public session to note any decisions on the public record.

Are members content?

Members indicated assent.

The Committee went into closed session from 11.45 am until 12.07 pm.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): The Committee has agreed to support the Minister's legislative consent motion for the Pet Abduction Bill and recommends that it be approved by the Assembly. I am assuming that that comes after all. Do we go through each section?

The Committee Clerk: Yes, we require formal agreement on each of the sections, pending the addition of issues that were raised today.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): Members, some issues were raised today that will be included in the report. I will go through the report in sections for agreement or otherwise.

The first section is "Powers and Membership". Are members agreed?

Members indicated assent.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): The next section is the "List of Abbreviations". Are members agreed?

Members indicated assent.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): The next section is "Background". Are members agreed?

Members indicated assent.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): The next section is "Committee Consideration of Legislative Consent Memorandum of 11 April 2024", which is at paragraphs 11 to 24. Are members agreed?

Members indicated assent.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): The Committee meeting on 2 May 2024 is at paragraphs 25 to 31. Are members agreed?

Members indicated assent.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): Today's Committee meeting, including the RaISe briefing and the Department's briefing, are at paragraphs 32 to 50. Are members agreed?

Members indicated assent.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): Paragraph 51 is the "Position in Other Jurisdictions". We will also take the section on "Responses from Stakeholders", which is at paragraphs 52 to 67. Are members agreed?

Members indicated assent.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): The "Conclusion" section of the report is at paragraphs 68 to 75. Are members agreed?

Members indicated assent.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): The next section is the list of "Links to Appendices", of which there are five. Are members agreed?

Members indicated assent.

The Committee Clerk: Chair, I will state for the record that, if we receive the response from the PSNI, it will be included in the final report or appended afterwards. I will add in the various issues that were raised in the public sessions today.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): OK. Are members agreed?

Members indicated assent.

The Chairperson (Mr Elliott): Thank you very much for your cooperation, members. That ends the meeting.

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