‘Beargate!’ PETA Slams MoD Minister’s ‘Bear-Faced’ Lies in Complaint to Boris Johnson

‘Beargate!’ PETA Slams MoD Minister’s ‘Bear-Faced’ Lies in Complaint to Boris Johnson

London – PETA has made a formal complaint to Prime Minister Boris Johnson 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.

PETA 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 – in 2017. In April 2022, PETA invited Quin to a parliamentary reception, where MPs had the opportunity to see and feel a faux fur cap. A month later, the group sent Quin the results of the most recent testing conducted on the material, 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. But during the debate, Quin stated that the MoD hasn’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.

“Mr Quin has misled Parliament with his responses about what the MoD does and doesn’t know about the faux fur and its viability,” writes PETA Director of Corporate Projects Yvonne Taylor in the complaint. “Please take action to correct the record or remove the minister from his post and instruct the MoD to make the switch to ECOPEL’s faux fur, sparing bears a violent death.”

PETA notes that the MoD has refused requests to meet with the group and denied 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. A government e-petition in support of PETA’s campaign amassed more than 100,000 signatures from the British public, triggering the debate itself.

The MoD has also claimed that the fur is sourced from bears who are killed as part of Canadian government “culls”, but PETA has found no evidence that any 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. It takes the skin of at least one bear to make a single cap. 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. Nursing mothers are among those killed and leave behind cubs who starve without them.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The complaint letter is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA’s website or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327; [email protected]