Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Public Transport (Weather Conditions) – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:15 pm on 27th February 2001.

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Photo of David Ford David Ford Alliance 4:15 pm, 27th February 2001

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Yesterday I raised a point of order, relating to the fact that, with the Minister of Agriculture being engaged in meetings in Brussels, there was no Minister available to make a statement on the foot-and-mouth disease crisis throughout the UK and on its implications for Northern Ireland. I understood that the Minister of Agriculture hoped to be here this afternoon, and a private notice question was tabled. She is again detained — this time in London. It is utterly unacceptable that there is no Minister to speak on a matter that is of great importance to the agriculture community.

Also, can you inform me how it is possible to ask for a statement to be made in the House by another Minister on behalf of the Executive?

Photo of Ms Jane Morrice Ms Jane Morrice NIWC 4:30 pm, 27th February 2001

That is a matter for the Executive — not for the House. It is appropriate that the Executive should be asked whether another Minister could replace the Minister. You have made the point that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development is in London attending a very important meeting on this issue. The question you raise is a matter for the Executive.

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Can you clarify whether the Member is correct when he says that foot-and-mouth disease is now present throughout the United Kingdom? So far as I am aware, it is only in Great Britain and has not reached this part of the United Kingdom yet.

Photo of Ms Jane Morrice Ms Jane Morrice NIWC

That is not a point of order.

Adjourned at 4.30 pm.