Fainting Guards Prompt Urgent PETA Plea: Drop Bearskin for Lighter Faux Fur
London – After royal guards fainted from the heat at the Colonel’s Review and as temperatures continue to soar ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony, PETA has fired off an urgent letter to the newly appointed minister for defence procurement, James Cartlidge, urging him to replace the bearskin caps worn by the King’s Guard with faux-fur caps, which would be lighter, meaning the guards would be more comfortable and less likely to succumb to the heat.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) long ago committed to ending the use of real bear fur for the caps once a suitable alternative was found, and recent laboratory tests confirm that luxury faux furrier ECOPEL’s faux bear fur performs as well as or better than real bear fur against the MoD’s five criteria for a replacement fabric. The company has even offered the ministry an unlimited amount of the faux fur free of charge until 2030, yet the MoD continues to resist making the switch.
“As temperatures will no doubt continue to rise, more and more guards will be put at risk when wearing the hot and heavy bearskin caps in the scorching heat,” says PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner. “PETA is calling on the MoD to honour its promise and replace the bear fur with ECOPEL’s lightweight, humane faux fur.”
Over 90% of Brits reject wearing animal fur, and 75% consider the bearskin caps to be a poor use of taxpayer money. Earlier this year in The Independent, a serving guardsman spoke out against the MoD’s continued use of real bear fur for the King’s Guard’s caps, writing, “I am protecting what it means to be British. Certainly, wearing the skin of a dead animal on my head accomplishes none of that.”
It takes the skin of at least one bear to make a single cap. In Canada, recreational hunters are granted tags to kill bears for fun, and some even use bows and arrows. The bears are often shot several times before they die, while others escape only to bleed to death. Nursing mothers may also be killed, leaving behind cubs who starve without them.
The letter to James Cartlidge is available on request. PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram.
Sascha Camilli +44 (0) 20 7923 6244; [email protected]