Edinburgh University students vote to reject ban of beef products from campus bars and cafes

Nearly 6,000 students voted in a referendum on the issue last week.
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Beef products including burgers and sandwiches will still be sold on Edinburgh University's campus after students rejected a proposed ban.

Students were voting on a motion titled 'Cease sale of beef from Students' Association cafes and restaurants' which had passed by a narrow margin of 51 per cent in a student council meeting on Thursday 30 January.

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Under Edinburgh University Student's Association (EUSA) rules, the narrow margin meant a student body-wide referendum was held last week.

Students voted against a motion to ban beef on Edinburgh University's campusStudents voted against a motion to ban beef on Edinburgh University's campus
Students voted against a motion to ban beef on Edinburgh University's campus

Security had to be called to that meeting when a contingent of young farmers from Scotland’s Rural College showed up to argue the opposing side they were told the hall was too full and given the boot.

EUSA announced today that nearly 6,000 students voted in the referendum, with those voting against it winning with 58 per cent of the vote.

It will mean beef products will continue to be sold in EUSA cafes and restaurants such as the Library Bar in Teviot Row House.

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A EUSA statement said: "The motion received a small majority of votes in favour from those present at the Student Council and, in accordance with procedures, was then progressed to online ballot; which was open to all matriculated students.

"We are pleased that nearly 6,000 of you students voted, showing a highly engaged student membership who want to have their say.

"The final result was that 58 per cent of students voted against the motion, and as a result the Student's Association will continue to offer beef products as an option in our cafes, restaurants, and shops."

The motion had followed moves from Universities including Cambridge and Goldsmiths in London to stop the sale of beef, and highlighted claims that a reduction in the consumption of beef can help to tackle an individual's carbon footprint.

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It also pointed at a petition which received more than 530 signatures.

However, it was labelled "misinformed" by opponents.

Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies student Sarah Whitelaw who said: "British farming is one of the most sustainable industries we boast as a country - the majority of our landscape and countryside could simply not be utilised for anything other than livestock.

“The ‘for’ argument was weak and misinformed but sadly we didn’t get the opportunity to counter-argue.”