Hindus call on Reserve Bank to remove animal fat from cash

A wallet with cash sticking out of it.
Photo credit: Getty

Hindus have pleaded with the Reserve Bank to remove beef products from New Zealand bank notes, but it has no plans to do so.

A polymer used in bank notes contains a reduced form of tallow, which is often made from sheep, pigs and cows.

Cows are sacred to Hindu people and many followers of the religion do not eat beef. US-based Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said the NZ Reserve Bank should change the notes via a statement on Thursday.

"RNZ should have been wise and literate enough to look into the religious sensitivities of its consumers before investing so much money and effort into the production of polymer banknotes," Mr Zed said.

A Reserve Bank of New Zealand spokesperson dismissed the call for change. The spokesperson pointed to past controversy over the notes from December 2016, when a new UK £5 note was revealed to contain tallow.

The spokesperson told Newshub it was decided then that changing the money would be too expensive then and this remains the case.