File photo dated 06/10/16 of a new polymer £5 note, as the use of animal fat in the note has been branded
© PA

The Bank of England is being petitioned to make the new £5 vegan friendly after it said the note contains traces of animal fat.

The polymer notes were introduced in September with Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, dipping one into a tray of curry to demonstrate its resilience.

But more than 11,000 people have so far signed an online petition calling for the BoE to change the production process after it said that tallow is involved.

“We can confirm that the polymer pellet from which the base substrate is made contains a trace of a substance known as tallow,” said a BoE spokeswoman.

“Tallow is derived from animal fats (suet) and is a substance that is also widely used in the manufacture of candles and soap,” she said. The BoE did not comment on the petition.

The BoE came under fire on social media from some vegans and vegetarians, while others joked they were happy to receive any unwanted notes.

The polymer notes, which are resistant to machine washing, bacteria and counterfeiters, were adopted as standard by Mr Carney’s native Canada in 2011.

In 2017, £20 notes featuring JMW Turner, the British painter, will be released and in 2020 £10 notes with Jane Austen will enter circulation. The Bank has given no indication of whether or not it will change the recipe.

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