A FARMER has launched a campaign to encourage people to eat British meat during February.

Ruth Russell, who farms near Duggleby, is promoting “Meatruary”, to highlight the quality of British meat.

She said: “My goal with ‘British Meatruary’ is to make the public aware of the high welfare we have here, to perhaps make them think twice about buying imported meat that has greater food miles.

“British meat is one of the most sustainable in the world - our livestock emissions are 2.5 times smaller than the world average.

“Unfortunately there have been many inaccurate reports in the media, for example, did you know our homes produce more emissions than agriculture and the emissions from livestock are only 4.5 per cent.”

Ruth said: “Many areas grazed by livestock are unsuitable for any other forms of farming and grazing ruminants actually help manage permanent pasture as an effective carbon sink.

“Livestock are vital for biodiversity, where there are animals you will find invertebrates in the soil and insects, this in turn feeds birds, helping to increase numbers.”

Ruth farms in partnership with her father John Harrison at their tenanted farm, Duggleby High Barn.

The farm is mixed arable and livestock growing wheat, barley and oats and breeding pedigree longhorns and grazing sheep.

Ruth said: “Not all livestock are reared intensively, our longhorn cattle are reared extensively.

“Beef animals spend at least two summers out at grass before being finished on our home-grown barley.

“I’m not trying to convert vegans. I just want to raise awareness and correct false information, and I hope to encourage meat eaters to support sustainable farming by buying British meat.

“In fact why stop there let’s support all British producers.

“Butchers can tell you exactly where your meat comes from, in supermarkets look out for the red tractor logo or find the country of origin on the label, remember not all meat processed in Britain is British.”