Meat has been completely banned from all Oxford City Council internal events.

At a full council meeting on Monday, March 20, the council unanimously voted in favour of only providing food at internal councillor events which were 100% plant based.

The motion was proposed by Labour Party councillor Paula Dunne, and this ban follows in the footsteps of Oxfordshire County Council, which passed a similar motion back in December 2021.

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Speaking at the meeting, Mx Dunne said: “In the UK we eat twice as much meat and dairy as the global average, which is not sustainable on a finite planet, as there is not enough land in the world to meet this demand.

“The rate at which we are eating meat and dairy is the leading cause of modern species extinctions.”

At council catered events, there will be plant-based options and meat will still be available. 

Dr Nicola Smith, from Plant-Based Health professionals, supported the motion by providing medical information.

She said: “There is substantial evidence that a plant-based diet can benefit individual health.

"Oxford City Council has the opportunity to model best-practice for the local population.”

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The Plant-Based Councils campaign has been lobbying Oxford City Council after city councils in Cambridge, Exeter and Norwich made commitments to plant based catering.

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In December 2021, Exeter City Council voted to only serve plant based foods at council meetings and events.

Green councillor Ian Middleton argued this motion was not about “restricting what people eat in their daily lives”.

He added: “That will remain their personal choice.

“Equally it’s every councillor’s choice to eat what they want.

“The only difference is that our councils will not be actively offering non-plant-based options.

“Instead, they will be setting an example by showing that even a small reduction in the consumption of meat and dairy can have a big impact on climate change and public health.”

The council has promised to work with local farmers to encourage more plant based local produce.