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Update (November 8, 2022): PETA U.K. has filed for a judicial review against Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace, on the grounds that when it came to assessing the world’s first faux bear fur, created by ECOPEL, to replace the King’s Guard’s bearskin caps, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) failed to adhere to its own procedure, behaved unfairly, breached procedural expectation, and exhibited flawed decision making—amounting to unlawful conduct.
The MoD has refused even to look at a report detailing the results of the laboratory testing of PETA U.K.’s proposed faux bear fur. This fabric would enable the MoD to keep its promise to replace the bearskins used for the King’s Guard’s ornamental caps once a suitable material is found.
The MoD has no excuses left not to make the humane switch to faux fur. Read more about the campaign here, and use the form below to take action for bears.
PETA is calling on British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to stop the Ministry of Defence (MoD) from using real bear fur for the ornamental headpieces worn by the King’s Guard and to have the ceremonial caps fashioned from luxurious faux fur instead.
Where These Ornamental Headpieces Actually Come From
The hats are made from the fur of black bears killed in Canada. During spring hunts, mother bears with nursing cubs may be shot, which leads to the eradication of entire families, as the cubs are orphaned and left to die. The MoD has claimed that these bears are shot as part of a licensed cull, yet PETA has found no evidence that any Canadian province has run any official black bear–culling programs.
Recreational hunters are granted tags to kill the bears, and some even use bows and arrows to do so. The bears 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. The U.K. government is creating a demand for the bears’ fur and fueling the slaughter by continuing to make the ornamental hats with that fur.
Taxpayers’ Money Is Spent on Slaughtering Bears
As discussed by PETA U.K., one of the most sophisticated military operations in the world would have you believe there is no alternative to slaughtering bears to make ceremonial caps. But that’s not the case! PETA U.K. and luxury faux furrier ECOPEL have created the world’s first faux bear fur that is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. ECOPEL has even offered to supply the MoD with unlimited, free faux bear fur until 2030.
Each fur hat costs an astounding $1,766.90. More than a million dollars’ worth of U.K. taxpayers’ money has been spent on these cruelly produced caps in the past seven years, even though they serve no military purpose.
More than 95% of the U.K. public refuses to wear fur, but Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace is ignoring the will of the people by condoning his department’s expenditure of money on these unwanted ceremonial caps.
Take Action Now
Instead of financially supporting the shameful slaughter of black bears for the King’s Guard’s ceremonial caps, the U.K. should be setting a compassionate example by switching to high-tech, luxurious faux fur.
Please help make sure the prime minister knows that Wallace is dragging his feet and wasting money and bears’ lives. Based on where you live, please take the quick steps below to help us make some noise for bears and spread the message!
If you’re a U.K. resident, please use PETA U.K.’s action alert to help bears.
Those outside the U.K. can follow these steps:
1. Take to social media.
Please tweet at the prime minister and the MoD and comment on the MoD’s Instagram and Facebook pages. Struggling with writer’s block? Try something like this:
Hey, @RishiSunak, tell @DefenceHQ no more bear fur! No one’s taxes should support bear slaughter. Faux fur is the future. #MoDGoFurFree
2. Send a polite message to Jane Hartley, the ambassador of the U.S. to the U.K., urging her to use her influence to help protect bears from being slaughtered for the King’s Guard’s caps.