Liberal Democrat-led Oxford City Council goes vegan

Oxford City Council is the latest to banish meat and dairy products from its catered events, joining Edinburgh, Norwich and Cambridge in meeting the demands of the Plant-Based Council’s campaign. 

Despite the county’s abundance of farmers and food producers, the motion was proposed by Labour councillor Paula Dunne, who argued that the Liberal Democrat-led council should remove meat and dairy products from events to avoid “the leading cause of modern species extinction.”

See also: Farmers’ fury as Exeter City Council axes meat products

The council comprises members from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, who voted unanimously to support the motion.

Oxfordshire county councillor Liam Walker, a Conservative, strongly opposed the decision, and told The Times newspaper: “The idea that some councillors eating vegan meals a few times a year is suddenly going to help towards climate change is madness.”

Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, the party’s national agricultural spokesman, also told a recent Countryside Alliance (CA) debate that, despite being a vegetarian himself, he opposed attacks on livestock farming conducted through local councils by the “plant-based” movement.

Displacing livestock farming to other countries with worse standards than the UK’s would do far more harm than good, he agreed.

CA media manager Mo Metcalf-Fisher said: “It is frankly astonishing that leaders of both the Liberal Democrats and Labour Party are attempting to woo rural voters while, at the same time, urban-based councillors from both their parties vote to ban meat and dairy.

“Anti-farming policies such as this will only alienate the voters they need to win over.”

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