Hindu temples have banned the new five pound note after it was revealed that it contained animal fat.
Two weeks ago, it was revealed that the banknotes contain tallow, which comes from beef or mutton fat.
Apart from outraging vegetarians and vegans, the news also caused concern among members of the Hindu community, who view cows as sacred.
The National Council of Hindu Temples has issued a statement against the new material and said the money “ceases to be a simple medium of exchange, but becomes a medium for communicating pain and suffering and we would not want to come into contact with it.”
“We look forward to being able to identify which notes are contaminated and learning of their prompt withdrawal and replacement with ‘Karma free notes’.”
A Bank of England spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that the new plastic notes do contain tallow derived from animal fat but did not give any further details about which animals the note come from or how the notes are produced.
Most tallow is made from either beef or mutton fat, though it can also be produced from pork or other animals. The news raises concerns that the use of animal fat mean use of the note could be contrary to certain religious beliefs, though this cannot yet be confirmed.
A petition to remove tallow from the bank notes has received more than 120,000 signatures.