MoD Minister Made False Claims, Says PETA

Posted by on September 5, 2022 | Permalink

Update (5 September 2022): Today, Jeremy Quin, minister of state for defence procurement, was forced to correct the record after misleading Parliament at a Westminster Hall debate about the use of bearskins for the royal guards’ caps on 11 July 2022. Off the back of PETA’s complaint to the prime minister, Quin submitted a written statement to Parliament. The statement admitted that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has seen recent laboratory reports from tests conducted on the faux fur.

Outrageously, Quin continued to claim that the faux fur is unsuitable based on the test results, which show the opposite.

PETA will continue to push the MoD to switch to faux fur until no more bears die for ceremonial hats.

18 August 2022: Today, we submitted a formal complaint to the prime minister after Jeremy Quin, minister of state for defence procurement, broke the Ministerial Code by giving false statements to Parliament during a recent Westminster Hall debate about replacing the bearskins used for the Queen’s Guard’s caps with faux fur.

Faux Claims From Quin

During the debate, Quin stated that the MoD hadn’t received any of the data about an alternative to bearskin and that he had “no idea whether a bearskin cap made of faux fur exists or what it looks like when it is subjected to water,” among other false claims.

Below are just some of the reasons his claims are misleading:

  • 2017: We notified the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the world’s first faux bear fur – expertly designed by luxury faux furrier ECOPEL and tested for appearance and performance in the MoD’s accredited laboratory.
  • April 2022: We invited Quin to a parliamentary reception, at which MPs had the opportunity to see and feel a faux fur cap.
  • May 2022: We sent Quin the results of the most recent testing conducted on the faux fur, which detailed its performance in drying rate and compression testing, further proving that the faux fur meets the MoD’s five requirements, matches the exact length of real bear fur, and is 100% waterproof.

Furthermore, the MoD has refused requests to meet with us and denied us access to its cap makers, even though ECOPEL has offered an unlimited amount of the faux fur free of charge until 2030 – which could save taxpayers more than £1 million.

Caps of Cruelty

The MoD has also claimed that the fur is sourced from bears who are killed as part of Canadian government “culls”, but we’ve found no evidence that such culls exist in any province or territory of Canada.

Instead, hunters obtain permits to bait and kill bears for “sport”, then sell their fur to auction houses. Some bears are shot several times before they die, and some escape only to bleed to death. The use of bows and arrows to hunt bears is permitted.

It takes the skin of at least one bear to make a single cap. Nursing mothers are among those killed and leave behind cubs who starve to death without them.

Spare Bears

We’re calling on Boris Johnson to take action to correct the record, remove Quin from his post, and instruct the MoD to switch to faux fur.

Join our campaign and the more than 100,000 people who want bears to keep their fur by sending the prime minister a message now: