PETA To ‘Skin’ A ‘Bear’ At Buckingham Palace

For Immediate Release:
19 August 2003

Dawn Carr 020 7357 9229, ext 224; 0776 857 1678 (mobile)

London – Were Christopher Robin to go down to Buckingham Palace tomorrow, he, like all the other tourists, would get an unexpected show: A PETA member dressed as a Canadian hunter will ‘slaughter’ and ‘skin’ a ‘bear’, leaving the blood-red painted activist naked on the ground, as part of PETA’s campaign to convince Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the Ministry of Defence to adopt a fur-free policy and switch to faux fur for the Household Guards’ bearskin hats.

Date: Wednesday, 20 August
Time: 12 noon sharp
Place: Buckingham Palace, Changing of the Guard

All the headpieces continue to be made of real bearskin despite the availability of high-quality faux-fur alternatives and a promise from Minister Geoff Hoon that changes would be made. It takes the entire hide of one bear to make one Guard’s headpiece. The skins come from bears shot in Canada – many are shot several times before they die, while some escape the hunters only to bleed to death. When mother bears are killed, orphaned cubs who cannot survive on their own are left behind.

‘The buzz is no longer about the changing of the guard; it’s about demanding the changing of the guards’ cruel hats’, says PETA Director Dawn Carr. ‘The Empire may have died, but there’s no need for bears to continue to do so just to keep up appearances.’

Among those supporting PETA’s campaign are Sir Roger Moore, Julian Clary, the Dowager Duchess of Bedford, Jilly Cooper, Amanda Holden, Haley Mills, Ian Cawsey MP and Jerome Flynn, all of whom have signed PETA’s petition urging the humane ‘changing of the guard’.