New plastic five pound notes should not be made using animal derived products, Crawley MP Henry Smith has suggested.
An online petition to stop the use of animal fat in the form of tallow in the new notes has gained more than 96,000 signatures.
Mr Smith, who is a vegetarian and chair of the all party parliamentary group on animal welfare, has backed the calls.
Speaking to the BBC this afternoon, he said: “I love the new fiver, I think it’s got extra security and anti-fraud measures.
“It looks fantastic with the House of Parliament and Sir Winston Churchill on it.
“But I think it’s a shame that there are animal derived products that are being used to make it and there are alternative-vegetable based products that could be used in the polymer for the new notes, and I hope that future batches and the batches of the ten and twenty pound notes that are going over to polymer next year will use vegetable-based sources and not animal based sources.”
He was then asked: “Nobody is suggesting you eat the five pound note, just spend it?”
Mr Smith replied: “It’s still consumption of a meat product and where that can be reduced where it does not represent any additional cost then I think it should be introduced so I’m not calling for the recall of all those fivers that have gone out.
“People are perfectly welcome to send them out to me if they like, but what I do think is in future polymer money in this country, which I do welcome, just should use vegetable-based products.”
What do you think? Comment below or email the newsdesk.
To view the petition click here
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