Hindu temples ban new 'animal fat' £5 note

New fivers

A number of Hindu temples have banned the new £5 note after it emerged they contain animal fat.

Satish Sharma from the National Council of Hindu Temples UK has told BBC Asian Network he's aware of three temples which aren't allowing the new fivers.

Vegans and religious groups weren't happy when it was revealed there is tallow, a type of animal fat, in them.

Rainbow Cafe in Cambridge is also refusing to accept the notes.

"It's a matter of principle," says Radha Mohan Das from Bhaktivedanta Manor in Aldenham, Hertfordshire.

It's one of the temples that has banned them.

"People make donations and so on so we've put it up in our temple shop but also around the temple saying we'd prefer donations without the £5 note."

Bhaktivedanta Manor Website

Satish Sharma is a spokesperson for the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK): "Every Temple and every Hindu is entitled to respond to it as their conscience dictates.

"I think temples have a responsibility to maintain a certain standard of Dharmic principles. Any temple which wanted to go along and ban the £5 note wouldn't be acting in any matter which was inconsistent."

The £5 note becomes a medium for communicating pain and suffering and we would not want to come into contact with it
Satish Sharma
National Council of Hindu Temples (UK)

On the website for the National Council of Hindu Temples UK it states: "From the Hindu and Dharmic perspective, producing currency and casually incorporating substances which are derived from acts of violence upon vulnerable non-aggressive creatures is not the behaviour of civilised beings.

"It is not something easily countenanced by Hindus and we feel the pain of the creatures who were killed in this process.

"The £5 note 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."

A picture of beef suet and a new fiver saying "dirty money"
Image caption This picture appears with an article on the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) website

Since the "bendy" notes were introduced into circulation by the Bank of England in September, more than 120,000 people have signed a petition calling for the tallow to be removed.

The bank has said its supplier was working on "potential solutions" to the issue of animal fat in its new £5 notes.

Satish Sharma adds: "I'm aware of three temples all of which have made the same decision.

"I'm fairly confident their committees are having conversations, discussions with their priests and with their spiritual guides and also with the congregations who attend the temples."

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