Wiltshire Council is set to vote on whether it should be vocal about opposing attempts to diminish the role of meat and dairy in its “rural way of life.”

The motion, submitted by Conservative Councillors Nabil Najjar and Elizabeth Threlfall, suggests Wiltshire Council should support poultry, arable and livestock farmers by promoting their local produce.

This comes after Edinburgh City Council, Norwich City Council, and Haywards Heath Town Council in Sussex signed a ‘Plant-Based Treaty’ to “improve access to plant-based foods among residents, promote food security and lower emissions.”

In 2021, Oxfordshire County Council passed a motion to ban meat and dairy at its events in an effort to combat climate change.

Enfield Borough Council also removed meat from the menu of its catering service in 2020, while Cambridge City Council is set to transition to fully plant-based catering for council meetings by 2026.

Councillor Nabil Najjar said: “I have brought this motion to the Council as a way of showing our support for our dedicated farming community at a time when many feel frustrated.

“Wiltshire has some fantastic local produce which we should be celebrating, and our excellent farmers, growers and land managers need to know that as a Council, we have their back.

“It is disappointing to see that other councils have sought to peddle anti-livestock rhetoric when voting to ban meat and dairy at their events, and this motion, which includes livestock, dairy, and arable farming, sets out a strong stance in support of all our farmers and our commitment to high-quality produce and strong welfare standards."

If passed, the motion would see food provided at Wiltshire Council catered events sourced from local suppliers, specifically including meat, fish, and dairy.

It states: “Wiltshire Council should also work to raise awareness of the importance of shopping locally, wherever possible, taking advantage of home-grown, affordable, and nutritious food, especially through our farm shops, reducing the ‘food miles’ on our plates and supporting our producers.”

The unitary authority is due to vote on the motion at its full council meeting on Tuesday, February 20.

Wiltshire Climate Alliance has reported its intention to ask the council what consideration has been given to the “carbon impacts of such a decision” and how it would “reconcile with its commitment to seek to make the county of Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030.”