New plastic five pound notes should not be made using animal derived products, Sussex MP Henry Smith has suggested.
Currently the new notes are made with animal fat in the form of tallow rather than an alternative vegetable based product.
An online petition to stop this has gained more than 96,000 signatures.
Crawley MP Henry Smith, who is a vegetarian and chairman 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
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.