UEA students vote to overturn beef ban

Universities have been urged to avoid knee-jerk responses to climate change, and instead source local meat from UK farmers
Universities have been urged to avoid knee-jerk responses to climate change, and instead source local meat from UK farmers

Students at the University of East Anglia have voted to overturn a ban on the sale of beef in student union outlets.

Last month, the university became the latest UK educational institution to ban beef from its student union outlets in a bid to become more environmentally friendly.

Farmers raised concerns that the move was a knee-jerk response to fighting climate change, and that sourcing local, British beef would have been a better option.

Now, UEA students have overturned the controversial decision as part of a new vote by the Students’ Union Council, held last week.



53 percent of the council voting to overturn the ban, while 36 percent voted to keep it.

The reversal has been dubbed a victory for common sense and British farmers and producers.



It came after backlash from students who said that it was “wrong and undemocratic” to have made the decision without consulting the rest of the university or holding a campus-wide referendum.

The Countryside Alliance had been a vocal critic of the original decision, writing an opinion piece for the local newspaper Eastern Daily Press, to voice its concern.

Mo Metcalf-Fisher of the Countryside Alliance said that banning beef would have been the 'wrong thing to do' as it would have 'set a dangerous precedent'.

“Universities should be sourcing local, sustainable grass-fed beef from UK farmers who are providing a solution to the very real concerns over climate change.

“Universities should instead look to reduce Co2 in other areas like, excessive air travel,” he said.

Last month, a Freedom of Information request revealed that the University of Cambridge had forked out millions for over 17,000 flights in 3.5 years, the same length of time it had implemented a red meat ban citing a need to lower carbon emissions.

The university has since been accused of hypocrisy. British livestock farmers organised a letter to the university’s vice chancellor, which calls on the ban to be reversed in favour of purchasing sustainable, red meat from local farmers.