Before we begin, I remind members that, in the context of the current Covid-19 restrictions, only the Chairman and staff are present in the committee room. All members must join remotely from elsewhere in the parliamentary precincts. The secretariat can issue invitations to join the meeting on MS Teams. Members may not participate in the meeting from outside of the parliamentary precincts. I ask members to mute their microphones when not making a contribution and to please use the raise hand function to indicate. Please note that messages sent to the meeting chat are visible to all participants. Speaking slots are prioritised for members of the committee.
The topic of today's meeting is pre-legislative scrutiny of the general scheme of the animal health and welfare (amendment) Bill 2021. The meeting will be in two sessions. From 9.30 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. we will have engagement with representatives of independent mink farms and from 10.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. we will have engagement with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Deputy McConalogue, and officials from the Department.