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Petition for Bank of England to remove £5 note gathers pace

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A petition calling for the Bank of England to remove a new banknote from circulation had on Tuesday received more than 70,000 signatures, with critics angry it is produced with animal product.

[LONDON] A petition calling for the Bank of England to remove a new banknote from circulation had on Tuesday received more than 70,000 signatures, with critics angry it is produced with animal product.

The polymer £5 notes (S$8.90) were unveiled in September, with the Bank of England extolling the new banknotes for being waterproof and having enhanced security features.

But the central bank has this week come under fire for using tallow, a product derived from animal fats, in the polymer pellets used to make the £5 notes.

A Change.org petition calling for animal products to be removed from banknotes has now gained more than 70,000 signatures.

"This is unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the UK," the petition reads.

Doug Maw, a 47-year-old vegan who started the petition, said the use of tallow was "incredibly disrespectful".

"We have no choice with money. We have to use it. They issue it through ATMs and hand them to us in shops.

"If we refuse them and they haven't got anything else, what are we going to do? Basically, we are being forced to have animal products on us," Mr Maw told the Press Association.

The Bank of England on Tuesday confirmed the substance of the banknotes, without commenting further on the criticism.

"Tallow is derived from animal fats (suet) and is a substance that is also widely used in the manufacture of candles and soap," a spokesperson told AFP.

AFP