Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (Northern Ireland)
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) aims to promote sustainable economic growth and the development of the countryside. The Department assists the competitive development of the agri-food, fishing and forestry sectors of the Northern Ireland economy, having regard for the need of the consumers, the welfare of animals and the conservation and enhancement of the environment.
DARD has responsibility for food, farming, and environmental policy and the development of the rural sector in Northern Ireland. It provides a business development service for farmers and growers, and a veterinary service with administration of animal health and welfare. It is responsible to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in Great Britain for the administration of schemes affecting the whole of the United Kingdom. The Department also oversees the application of European Union agricultural and rural development policy to Northern Ireland.