COUNTY NEWS: Sussex campaigner’s fury as animal fat stays in banknotes

Doug Maw outside the Bank of England building in Threadneedle Street, London, handing over his petition against using animal fat in the new polymer banknotes.
Doug Maw outside the Bank of England building in Threadneedle Street, London, handing over his petition against using animal fat in the new polymer banknotes.

A leading campaigner against animal fat in banknotes from Sussex plans to take the Bank of England to court over its decision to carry on using it.

Doug Maw started a petition in November last year which has racked up more than 137,000 signatures so far. The vegan urged the Bank of England to stop using tallow in the production of its notes on ethical and religious grounds.

But last Thursday, the bank announced this practice would continue, ignoring the result of its own consultation in which 88 per cent of respondents did not want it.

Doug said: “It is absolutely crazy and if they think I’m going to give up, they don’t know me at all.

“I’m an ex-boxer; I fight. If they knock me down, I’ll get back up again.”

The nutritionist and fitness trainer will be holding a demonstration outside the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, London at midday on September 14, the day the new £10 goes into circulation.

After that, he will be launching a legal challenge against the move using the European Convention on Human Rights.

He believed the decision breached article 9 – freedom of thought, conscience and religion – and article 14, prohibition of discrimination.

The tallow mainly comes from cow fat, which is against the beliefs of religious groups including Hindus and Sikhs.

While the notes only contain 0.05 per cent fat, Doug said: “If I buy fried rice in the Chinese, I don’t ask for 0.05 per cent of it to be chicken or beef. That isn’t acceptable, I don’t want any.

“If someone’s finger gets stuck in the money-printing machine and the notes are 0.05 per cent human, that wouldn’t be acceptable.”

The 48-year-old from Yapton became a vegan aged 27, the year his son was born.

He had previously been a butcher who worked in abattoirs and poultry farms.

The Bank of England said it made its decision based on financial grounds, but Doug rebuffed these claims. He said the £16.5million the bank quoted as the cost over ten years to make the notes fat-free was a drop in the ocean compared to the £25billlion it spent in January to keep interest rates down.

To join the petition, click here.