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Stop the Slaughter of Bears for the Queen’s Guard’s Caps

PETA is calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stop the Ministry of Defence (MoD) from using real bear fur for the ornamental headpieces worn by the Queen’s Guard and to have the ceremonial caps fashioned from luxurious faux fur instead.

Where These Ornamental Headpieces Actually Come From

Bears hunted for their fur are often shot but not killed immediately. As many as one bear in seven will escape wounded and die slowly from blood loss or starvation. 

In some Canadian provinces, there are no restrictions on shooting mother bears with nursing cubs, which leads to the death of entire families as orphaned cubs are left to starve or are killed by predators without their mothers there to protect them. Hunters are permitted to kill the bears using a variety of weapons, from guns to bows and arrows. In some parts of Canada, even spears are legal – a particularly slow and painful way to die.

PETA’s research has revealed no evidence that the skins of black bears come from government-sanctioned “culls” as peddled by the MoD. When we submitted a Freedom of Information (FoI) request to the ministry for details to back up its claim, it was forced to admit that it doesn’t have a clue about its bear fur supply chain. Those who kill the bears are in fact doing so for “fun” and for profit. You can read more about the issue here

Your Money Is Spent on Slaughtering Bears

Each cap costs an astounding £1,710. More than £1 million worth of UK taxpayers’ money has been spent on these cruelly produced caps in the past seven years. ECOPEL – a global faux fur textile and apparel manufacturer – has offered to supply the MoD with unlimited free faux bear fur until 2030.

With more than 95% of the UK public refusing to wear fur, it is a betrayal of British values to use taxpayer money to fund the slaughter of bears overseas.

MoD Offers Judgement – But No Solutions 

The faux bearskin meets all of the requirements outlined to PETA by the MoD. It is the same length as real bear fur, is 100% waterproof, and performs in a remarkably similar way to real bear fur in water shedding tests. To the naked eye, the two fabrics look virtually identical. Yet, despite being presented with a high-quality, high-performing fabric, the MoD claims, falsely, that the fabric is not a “viable alternative”. You can read more here

The MoD’s tired excuses are unacceptable. ECOPEL has offered to meet and work with the MoD’s cap makers to allow any possible adjustments to the fabric, free of charge. Yet the MoD has refused the request, blocking any chance of progress, while deceitfully telling the public it would be willing to change were a suitable alternative provided.

Take Action Now

Instead of financially supporting the shameful slaughter of black bears for the Queen’s Guard’s ceremonial caps, the UK should set a compassionate example and switch to high-tech, luxurious faux fur.

We need to let the prime minister know that the secretary of state for defence is obstructing progress and wasting taxpayers’ money. Please take these quick steps to help us make some noise for bears and get the message across:

STEP 1: Sign the UK Government and Parliament petition.

The government petition must get 100,000 signatures to trigger a debate in Parliament. We urgently need you to add your name! Alesha Dixon has added her name, now add yours:

STEP 2: Take to social media.

Please tweet at the prime minister and the MoD and comment on the MoD’s Instagram and Facebook. Struggling with writer’s block? Try something like this: 

Hey, @BorisJohnson, @PETAUK has provided the MOD with a faux bear fur that is indistinguishable from real fur. Please stop the senseless slaughter of bears by @DefenceHQ & quick march the new faux bearskin into service. #MoDGoFurFree

Tweet Now

STEP 3: Send Prime Minister Boris Johnson an e-mail. 

Fill out the form below to take action. Clicking submit will send the prime minister an e-mail. Edit our e-mail template and include your own unique message to make a bigger impact. If you are a UK taxpayer and don’t want to pay for cruelty, please mention it in your message. 

UK Government

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