Following a landmark ruling on Jan. 3, the Bank of England could face a legal challenge from vegans over its use of tallow, an animal fat, in polymer banknotes.
Judge Robin Postle found a belief in “ethical veganism” should be legally protected against workplace discrimination – similar to religious freedoms – at an employment tribunal in Norwich, England.
Complainant Jordi Casamitjana, a vegan, claimed his employer fired him after he told colleagues their pension fund was invested in companies involved in animal testing. After the ruling, lawyers representing Casamitjana claimed the decision opens the door to obtaining a judicial review to remove tallow from U.K. banknotes.
“Someone could bring a claim against the Bank of England,” Peter Daly, principal employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon, told The Telegraph.
After a 2017 public consultation, the Bank of England announced it would continue using tallow in its banknotes, claiming it would cost about £80 million to revert to paper money.
All of Canada’s polymer banknotes also contain “literally minute” amounts of tallow according to the Bank of Canada.