Lanarkshire SNP MPs Join Together to Demand That Bearskins Be Replaced With Faux Fur for the Scots Guards’ Caps

Lanarkshire SNP MPs Join Together to Demand That Bearskins Be Replaced With Faux Fur for the Scots Guards’ Caps

Lanarkshire – Ahead of the Edinburgh Tattoo, 17 members of Parliament representing Scotland, including Lanarkshire Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs Steven Bonnar, SNP shadow spokesperson (DEFRA team member), and Marion Fellows, sent a letter requesting that the Ministry of Defence replace the bearskins used for the caps worn by the Scots Guards – Scotland’s Foot Guards – with faux fur.

“While we strongly urge the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to replace all the bearskin used for the caps with faux fur, we specifically demand that the Scots Guards’ caps be replaced with a modern, humane alternative,” the letter reads. “Replacing the bearskin with faux fur would allow the history of the caps to endure in a way that reflects modern society’s respect for wildlife. We would be very pleased for Scotland to lead the charge and for our guards to pioneer this humane, modern cap,” it concludes.

The MoD has long maintained that it is not wedded to the use of bearskin and would replace it with faux fur when a suitable fabric became available. Therefore PETA, a charity, invested significant resources into developing a fabric with luxury faux furrier ECOPEL that satisfies the agreed-upon terms. Yet, even though an independent fabric technologist found that the ECOPEL material performs in the same way as bear fur, the MoD has failed to uphold its side of the bargain.

“Scottish MPs – like the vast majority of the public – do not want the Scots Guards parading with the skin of a dead bear on their head,” says PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner. “This is yet another message to the MoD that it must stop clinging to caps that represent bears’ violent deaths and put ECOPEL’s high-quality faux fur to good use.”

After decades of telling the public that its fur is sourced from bears who are killed as part of Canadian government “culls”, the MoD admitted in a Freedom of Information request response – after PETA found no evidence that any such culls exist in any province or territory of Canada – that it purchases finished caps and has no knowledge of its supply chain. 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.

As the MPs note in the letter, such abject cruelty does not reflect Scottish people’s morals and values. They cite polls showing that the vast majority of Scotland’s population rejects fur and point to a recent survey showing that only 11% of citizens support the use of real fur for these ceremonial caps.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


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