Bank of England to keep the new £5 note - despite protests from animal rights groups

The new £5 note Credit: PA

The Bank of England will keep the £5 polymer note in circulation - despite criticism that it contains animal fats.

Vegetarians and vegans reacted with fury after it emerged in November that tallow was used in the new notes.

In a statement, the Bank of England said it "recognises the concerns raised" but that "producing banknotes is complicated".

The bank said it carefully considered alternative options - like destroying or reprinting- but said it would be costly and compromise new anti-counterfeit measures.

It also intends to issue a new £10 note which will contain traces of animal fats.

The bank said it is "continuing to work closely with banknote polymer suppliers to determine what alternatives might be available".

It previously defended the notes' content by pointing out that tallow is also used to make candles and soap.

Sharon Meijland put this sign up in her restaurant Credit: Rainbow Vegetarian Cafe/Restaurant

A vegetarian café owner became the target of internet trolling when she refused to accept the new £5 note at her business.

Sharon Meijland had said: "Our whole business is based around not having dead animal products on the premises."

More than 130,000 people have signed a petition against the use of tallow to manufacture the polymer notes, which were released in September.