As we continue to represent our members’ interests, Countryside Alliance Ireland has recently attended a number of meetings and responded to DAERA’s consultation on a ‘Future Agricultural Policy Framework’ for Northern Ireland.
Ireland meet with PSNI Firearms Chief
Countryside Alliance Ireland’s Chief Executive, Lyall Plant, met with Nichola Murphy, Head of PSNI Firearms and Explosives Branch, to discuss a number of topics and to address members’ concerns. These included the Auditor’s Report, general licence issues and the performance of the on line system.
The online application system has, for the vast majority, proved to be an excellent service with a quick turnaround. However, Mr Plant did address the backlog affecting a number of applicants.
Ms Murphy advised that every effort is being made to address the back log of cases that are being addressed by Senior Licensing Managers, in that cases are being classified as more complex or require a Senior Managers decision.
Countryside Alliance Ireland will continue to fully engage with PSNI FEB and we shall keep you updated.
PAW NI Fin Poaching Sub Group meet at the Loughs Agency
A meeting of the PAW NI Fin Poaching Sub Group was held recently in the Loughs Agency Headquarters in Prehen.
A number of items were discussed including ‘Terms of Reference’ for the group and the production of a statistical survey to enable the group to focus on specific areas of concern.
The meeting was kindly hosted by John McCartney, Director of Conservation and Protection at Loughs Agency, who recently took over as Chair of the Fin Sub Group.
The Fin Sub Group comprises of members from the PAW NI (The Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime in Northern Ireland) steering group; which brings together statutory agencies, non-statutory agencies and interested parties with the common goal of combating wildlife crime through publicity education and campaigning.
PAW NI partners include key government departments, PSNI and other enforcement agencies, environmental organisations, animal welfare groups and country sports associations.
Northern Ireland Future Agricultural Policy Framework
Countryside Alliance Ireland together with the Ulster Angling Federation welcomed the opportunity to submit our comments in respect of the Northern Ireland Future Agricultural Policy Framework.
The food and farming industry is nationally important, generating over £108 billion a year for the UK economy and underpinning our food security. It is particularly important for our most rural areas where farming is often central to the economic and social life of the community as well as playing a vital role in conservation. The establishment of the first UK agricultural policy in over 40 years is therefore hugely important, not just to farmers but to the future of the countryside and the nation as a whole.
Leaving the European Union (EU) provides the opportunities to create an agricultural policy that is better suited to the regions and nations of the UK than the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), and to simplify the current system of support payments and grants. However, this process will involve significant change as the Government has confirmed that it will move away from direct income support in favour of payments for certain types of public goods outlined in the Government’s “Health and Harmony” consultation on the future of food, farming and the environment.