Thousands of students at Edinburgh University have voted against a campus-wide proposed ban on the sale of beef from all its outlets.
Some 6,000 students took part in the online poll, which closed last Friday. The results were announced today, with 58% voting against a motion which would have seen beef removed from the menu.
Students were voting on a motion titled 'Cease of sale of beef from Students' Association cafes and restaurants' which had passed by a narrow margin of 51 per cent in a heated student council meeting on Thursday 30 January.
In a statement, the Edinburgh University Students' Association said: "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 Students' Association will continue to offer beef products as an option in our cafes, restaurants, and shops."
The debate took an interesting turn last week, when one third-year student offered to buy steaks for fellow students who pledged to vote against it.
Speaking in response to the result, Mo Metcalf-Fisher, a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: "It's good to see students reject this illogical motion so they can continue to have the choice over whether or not to eat beef products. We are so fortunate to have a sustainable livestock farming industry in the UK, which should be applauded and celebrated - not demonised. Universities should be buying a selling grass-fed, British red meat."
The motion followed moves from the University of Cambridge to stop the sale of beef, claiming that a reduction in consumption can help to reduce the carbon footprint. However, a Freedom of Information request revealed some hypocrisy, as the university had spent millions of pounds on 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.
In response, the Countryside Alliance and British farmers organised a letter to the university's vice chancellor, which called on the ban to be reversed in favour of purchasing sustainable, red meat from local farmers.