PETA Asks The Duke Of Cambridge To Shun Real Bearskin At This Year’S Trooping Of The Colour

For Immediate Release:
12 June 2011

Sandra Smiley 0207 357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]

After seeing William the Duke of Cambridge sport a real bearskin cap during a rehearsal for this year’s Trooping of the Colour, PETA has dispatched a letter asking him to please refuse to wear the cruelly produced cap at the event, which will take place this Saturday, 11 June.

Most people are opposed to the hideous cruelty involved in producing bearskin caps: indeed, the results of a YouGov poll commissioned by PETA found that only 14 per cent of Britons are in favour of the continued use of real fur for The Queen’s Guards’ caps. It requires the hide of up to one full bear to make just one cap because a bear’s fur is densest on the ridge of the animal’s back. Many bears are not killed instantly when they’re shot, and some escape the hunters only to die later from their wounds. When mother bears are killed, nursing cubs are often left behind to starve.

PETA, along with Stella McCartney, presented a faux-fur prototype of a cap for The Queen’s Guards’ to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The cap passed water-resistance tests carried out by the MoD’s testing facility in 2010, and in a meeting with PETA, the MoD agreed to work with the group to develop and assess a more refined sample of the cap for further trials. PETA has been in regular contact ever since, and that work is ongoing. However, in the meantime, countless Canadian bears are still being shot (sometimes multiple times) and killed so that their fur can be turned into ceremonial caps that serve absolutely no military purpose.

A copy of the letter is below.

7 June 2011
His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge
Clarence House, St. James’s Palace
London SW1A 1BA
United Kingdom

Your Royal Highness,

I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) UK and the millions of Britons who oppose cruelty to animals to respectfully request that you not wear a real bearskin at this year’s Trooping of the Colour. Each hat represents an orphaned bear cub and a slaughtered mother bear. Please allow me to explain:

Tourists and Londoners alike are horrified when they learn that it can take a bear’s entire hide to make a single Guards’ cap. Video footage shows how bears are killed for their hides. Some mother bears, lured to a bait site, are seen being shot several times, their still-nursing and dependent cubs orphaned outright. Others are ensnared, sometimes for days, in painful steel traps. During hunts, as many as one bear in seven is not killed immediately after being shot, and some escape wounded, presumably dying later from blood loss, infection or starvation. We hope hearing about this terrible cruelty will move you to lend your support to the idea that the caps are no longer appropriate in this century and should henceforth be made of a synthetic material. After all, the celebration and pageantry of The Trooping of the Colour could be so much more joyful if it didn’t involve the corpses of hundreds of dead bears.

For 2011’s Trooping of the Colour, please won’t you set a compassionate example for others to follow by declining to wear real bearskin? I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Mimi Bekhechi