PETA Threatens MoD With Legal Action Over Bearskins

PETA Threatens MoD With Legal Action Over Bearskins

London – PETA has sent a letter to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) threatening legal action if the ministry continues to fail to properly consider a faux bear fur developed by PETA that would enable the MoD to keep its promise to replace the bearskins used for the King’s Guard’s ornamental caps once a suitable material is found.

Even though PETA and luxury fur furrier ECOPEL have created a material that satisfies the agreed-upon terms – and a fabric technologist gave a glowing assessment of the world’s first faux bear fur – the MoD is failing to uphold its side of the bargain, refusing to consider the assessment or to trial the faux bear fur against the relevant criteria, which the letter identifies as grounds for judicial review due to unlawful conduct.

The letter details the years of correspondence between PETA and the MoD, including the repeated assurances from the ministry that a faux bear fur meeting its criteria of being waterproof and having fibres the same length as real bear fur would be adopted. In May, PETA sent the ministry a four-page summary of test results, provided by fabric technologist Atom Cianfarani, detailing the faux fur’s performance in drying rate and compression testing – further proving that the material meets and in some areas exceeds the MoD’s requirements, matches the exact length of real bear fur, and is 100% waterproof. But in August, the MoD notified Cianfarani that it would not even bother to evaluate the report.

“PETA has devoted many years and thousands of pounds to developing and testing this state-of-the-art faux bear fur, yet the MoD refuses to honour the deal it made,” says PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner. “The ECOPEL faux fur not only meets the MoD’s requirements but outperforms bearskin in some areas, so the ministry has no excuse not to adopt PETA’s vegan upgrade as promised.”

“The MoD has repeatedly stated that it will test any faux fur PETA presents to it, most recently in a July 2022 parliamentary debate where the former procurement minister said that it is not wedded to bearskin and again reiterated the principled acceptance that if shown to be an appropriate replacement, faux fur would be adopted,” says Lorna Hackett, PETA’s legal counsel from Hackett & Dabbs LLP. “Despite this, the MoD has refused to analyse test results that prove the faux fur meets and exceeds the standards. PETA has been left with no choice but to pursue a judicial review on the grounds of unlawful conduct.”

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 would save taxpayer money and many bears’ lives. A government e-petition in support of PETA’s campaign amassed more than 100,000 signatures from the UK public, triggering a parliamentary debate in July.

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


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