Defeat for activists as Bank of England refuses to back down over animal fat traces in new UK currency

British Polymer Banknotes

ACTIVISTS suffered a humiliating defeat after The Bank of England refused to back down over concerns its new currency contains animal fat traces.

The bank promised to issue a new £10 note, as planned, despite claims the new £5 note – which features a portrait of Winston Churchill – contained a small amount of animal fat traces called tallow.

The activists had demanded the new £5 made from polymer were withdrawn from circulation and tallow not used in the new polymer £10.

However, after considering other options, the central bank confirmed that it will keep the notes in circulation, and not delay the issue of the new £10 note.

Production of the new £10 note began last August, with hundreds of millions of the notes already printed.

According to the Bank of England, the polymer currency will be released into circulation in September 2017, as planned.

As it is made using the same materials as the polymer £5 note, the new £10 will again contain small amounts of tallow which is rendered beef and mutton fat.

The Bank of England said it had considered destroying, reprinting and delaying the issue of the new note in response to the backlash from vegetarians and vegans.

However, it said that doing so would compromise anti-counterfeit measures and would prove expensive.

In November the Bank said the polymer pellets used to make new £5 notes used an “extremely small amount” of the substance, leading to 134,000 people signing a petition against their use.

However, a supply contract has yet to be signed for the manufacture of new £20 polymer notes – set to be released in 2020 – as the Bank weighs up plant-based substitutes.

It has considered using palm oil in the new notes.

But environmental groups blame palm oil production for destroying large swathes of the rain forest.

The Bank insists its suppliers will only use “environmentally sustainable production”. Another alternative being considered is coconut oil.

Tallow is a hard, fatty substance masse from rendered animal fat.

It is commonly used to make soap and candles.

The new polymer note uses beef tallow made from suet, which is hard fat found around the animal’s kidneys, stomach and other organs.

The new plastic £10 note will feature author Jane Austen, which was confirmed at a press conference in 2013 by Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney.

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