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Cape Town endorses weekly meat-free day

News Section Icon Published 16/08/2010

Cape Town has become the first city in Africa to officially endorse one meat-free day a week. In a unanimous vote taken in council chambers on 6th April 2010, the city's Health Portfolio Committee agreed to endorse the call by Compassion in World Farming (South Africa) for one meat-free day a week.

Said Tozie Zokufa, South African co-representative for Compassion in World Farming: "It is a triumph. We started negotiating with the City Health Committee last December and did several presentations for the Committee. We handed each committee member a copy of Compassion's reports: Eating the Planet, Beyond Factory Farming and Global Warning.

"The official launch took place at the Civic Centre in Cape Town on 29th July 2010, with Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Dan Plato as keynote speaker. The Press turned out in force. Although, at the time of the official launch, the city decided to make it a red-meat-free day - the city nevertheless publicly backed its partnership with us, fully accepting that the message we would be taking into schools, was about one totally meat-free-day a week. The cities of Ghent and San Francisco sent video clips of congratulations which were played at the launch.

"Now there has been a further development. The city of Cape Town's Environmental Management Department has given its official backing to the one-meat-free-day initiative too and has invited Compassion in World Farming (South Africa) to incorporate the Environmental Management Department's Smart Eating - Food and Climate Change booklet in our roll-out to schools.

"We hope to make Cape Town a world-leading city - an inspiration to other cities - in reducing our Carbon Footprint and increasing our Compassionate Footprint," said Tozie. "I will be taking this message with me in September to the African Union Animal Welfare Action Conference to be held in Nairobi, Kenya. I will speak, inter alia, on 'How Compassion in World Farming (South Africa) won the hearts and minds of the City of Cape Town', with the hope that other African cities will follow suit."

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