beef burger

Beef burgers will now be reinstated on the menu
Students have fought back against a ban on beef on their University campus as the union voted to reverse the decision.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) student union faced backlash after agreeing to take dishes like hamburgers and spaghetti bolognese off the menu at their bars or shops in order to tackle climate change.

Now less than a month after the decision was made to ban the meat it has been overturned by the same council.

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 referendum.

It also led to anger from farmers and from Jewish groups at UEA, who said that it would restrict what religious students can eat on campus.

The student union will now reinstate all beef products in their shops and bars.

In an article explaining the original decision Sophie Atherton, the union's campaign and democracy officer, had said that it followed the University's decision to declare a climate emergency.

She said that beef was a "critical contributor to climate change" and used more land and water than chicken or pork.

But Gabriel Ward commented: "It's wrong & undemocratic that our Student representatives passed this without consulting us (the students), and without any real forethought, discussion or debate.

"It's a disgrace to the democracy of the university. There ought to be a referendum on the matter, with pamphlets & information (for & from both sides of the debate) made available."

The original motion in November was passed by the Union Council with a 1 per cent majority in favour of the ban. Last week 53 per cent of the same council voted to overturn the ban whilst 36 per cent voted to keep it.

It had been the third University to ban beef. Cambridge University's catering service has removed beef and lamb from the menu whilst Goldsmiths in London has banned it from campus completely.

Mo Metcalf-Fisher, from the Countryside Alliance, said: "Banning beef would have been the wrong thing to do. It would 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."

NFU Vice President Stuart Roberts said: "It's encouraging that following our meeting with the country's top universities that showcased how British livestock production can be part of the climate solution, the University of East Anglia's Union Council has decided to reinstate beef to the University's menus.

"British farmers are leading the way in producing climate-friendly food and we are the only community to set an ambitious target to become net zero by 2040. The question we must ask is not whether we should eat meat or not, but where has it been produced, and to what environmental and animal welfare standards?"