London: The Bank of England invited members of the Hindu Council UK for a meeting over concerns that the new 5 pound polymer currency note contains traces of beef tallow — an issue that has led to anger among vegans, Hindus, Sikhs and other communities in Britain.
The Bank of England said that it will not withdraw the current pound 5 polymer bank notes from circulation and will go ahead with plans to withdraw legal tender status of the pound 5 paper bank notes on May 5, 2017.
The Hindu Council UK representatives – Chairman Umesh C. Sharma JP, Director of Interfaith Relations, Anil Bhanot OBE and Director of Hindu Temple Engagement, Arun Thakur were personally invited to a meeting with The Chief Cashier of the Bank of England-Victoria Cleland at its headquarters in Threadneedle Street on February 8.
In late November 2016, the Bank of England announced that it had been informed that small traces of animal-derived products were used by a supplier in the manufacture of the new polymer pound 5 notes. Tallow is a hard, fatty substance made from rendered animal fat. It is commonly used to make soap and candle. 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 pound 5 notes (and the pound 10 notes) contain animal fat in the form of tallow. This is unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the UK, the Hindu Council UK said in a statement.
As soon as this announcement was made, the Hindu Council UK together with a number of individuals and representatives of certain communities and organisations had publically expressed concerns about this. It said over the last couple of months, the Hindu Council UK has been in communication with the Bank of England and raised the concerns of the Hindu Community, Hindu Temples and Hindu Organisations in the UK over the issue.
The Bank of England said that it will not withdraw the current pound 5 polymer bank notes from circulation and will go ahead with plans to withdraw legal tender status of the pound 5 paper bank notes on May 5, 2017. The Bank will also continue with the proposed launch of the new pound 10 polymer bank notes in September 2017, using the existing polymer substrate. IANS
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