Three councils, including the first in Scotland, have defied the plant-based movement in a show of support for farmers of all sectors.

Rutland County Council, Peterborough City Council, and Highland Council have all passed new pro-farming motions, becoming the latest to do so.

It comes after a string of other councils around the country voted to ban meat and dairy items on council-catered menus.

The pro-farming motions commit to encouraging residents to shop locally when purchasing food, including meat, dairy, and plant-based products, with the aim of reducing food miles to plates.

Rutland and Peterborough also committed to sourcing more home-grown produce at council-catered events, specifically including meat, dairy, and plant-based products.

Highland Council’s farming motion was unanimously passed on March 14.

Rutland passed the pro-farming motion introduced by Conservative councillor Giles Clifton with 26 votes in favour and 1 abstention.

Peterborough City Council unanimously voted through a similar motion on, introduced by Conservative councillor Andy Coles.

The move comes after a string of councils around the UK have voted to ban meat and dairy items on council-catered menus elsewhere and committed to transitioning to fully plant-based catering for council meetings.

In passing the pro-farming motion, Highland Council, Peterborough City, and Rutland County Councils have become the eighth, ninth, and tenth councils respectively to defy the vegan trend.

At Highland Council, councillor Angus Macdonald (Liberal Democrat) said: “Britain imports 46% of our food – perhaps in the Highlands we import 70%.

"We don’t help our own farmers in this respect. They get grants not to have livestock. What can our council really do to help crofts and help farmers in the West? … I urge you to support [this] motion.”

Sabina Roberts, a spokeswoman for the Countryside Alliance, which is behind a campaign to get councils to pass the motions, said: “It is fantastic to see three more councils back our landmark motion.

"It is more important than ever for farmers to be a part of the conversation about our climate future – and supporting local, sustainable produce is vital within that effort.”