The Bank of England confirmed on Twitter the crisp new notes contain traces of tallow – a substance made from animal fat often used in the production of candles and soap.
The revelation came to light after a member of the public tweeted: “Is it true the new £5 notes contain tallow?”
The Bank of England wrote back and said: “There is a trace of tallow in the polymer pellets used in the base substrate of the polymer £5 notes.”
Outraged vegetarians and vegans across the UK have now signed a petition calling on the Bank of England to halt the production of the currency.
The ‘Remove tallow from bank notes’ petition, reads: “The new £5 notes contain animal fat in the form of tallow.
“This is unacceptable to millions of vegans & vegetarians in the U.K. We demand that you cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use.”
The petition currently has more than 2,400 signatures.
Many signatories took to Twitter to voice their anger against the Bank of England.
One user @TheVeganPunk wrote: “The new five pound notes aren’t vegan!! They contain tallow, which is derived from animal fat.”
And another user added: “The new fivers contain animal fat. You think things are improving then hear shit like this. No end to the ways they exploit animals.”
And user @dan_hanks wrote: “New £5 note isn”t vegan. Was everyone”s 2016 New Year”s resolution to do ridiculously insane stuff like adding meat to money?”
But not everyone was as concerned about the news.
One user wrote: “As a vegetarian I really find myself laughing at vegan-militant tweets. So now we shouldn”t use the new £5 note coz it”s not vegan? Get out.”