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Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2006

I will be representing the United Kingdom at this month's Agriculture and Fisheries Council.

The Council will adopt a proposal confirming the overall rural development budget for 2007-13, and the annual breakdown including the minimum amount to be concentrated in regions eligible under the Convergence Objective. In addition the Council will note the Commission's intended methodology for allocating this money to member states. The UK will put on record its disappointment at the fact that the methodology is based on historic share rather than objective need.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development will give a progress report on the WTO agricultural negotiations. She will also present the Commission's forest action plan, designed to improve the implementation of the 1998 EU forest strategy.

The presidency will provide a written update on the outcome of the sixth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF-6) and their assessment of EU participation. The presidency will also present their conclusions from the May Informal Agriculture Council discussions, which focused on education, extension, research, and innovation in farming.

In the afternoon, there will be a public debate on the community action plan on the protection and welfare of animals.

There will also be a policy debate on the proposal for rules on the welfare of chickens kept for meat production.

The Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner will then update the Council on developments with regard to the spread of the Avian Influenza H5N1 virus.

The Czech Republic will draw attention to the UN Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, and the desirability of third countries also having high animal welfare standards.