Photos: ‘Bear’ Confronts Keir Starmer on Polling Day Over King’s Guard’s Fur Caps

4 July 2024

Photos: ‘Bear’ Confronts Keir Starmer on Polling Day Over King’s Guard’s Fur Caps

London – Today, a PETA supporter dressed in a bear costume holding a sign reading, “Sir Keir: Save My Skin! Vote for Faux-Fur Caps,” pleaded with Keir Starmer outside his local polling station as he cast his vote in the general election. The action comes after a PETA video exposé revealed how bears in Canada – whose fur is used to make the King’s Guard’s caps – are baited with food, shot with crossbows, disembowelled, and dismembered by hunters. Video footage is available here.

Photos of today’s action are available here.

The disturbing investigative footage shows hunters shooting unsuspecting animals with crossbows – a form of hunting that has been illegal in the UK since 1981 under wildlife protection laws. Many bears are shot several times, and some escape and die slowly from blood loss, infection, starvation, or dehydration.

The Labour Party has previously committed to conducting “an immediate review of the possible alternatives to bear fur” if it forms a government, stating that “it is incredibly important that traditions develop and adapt if they are to survive”.

“Starmer has promised to make a real difference, and he could start by ending the use of fur from slaughtered bears for these ornamental headpieces,” says PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner. “The UK must end its support of the barbaric slaughter of bears by replacing the fur used for the King’s Guard’s caps with military-grade faux bear fur that’s fit for the 21st century.”

It takes the skin of at least one bear to make a single cap. According to public records obtained by PETA, the Ministry of Defence bought 498 bearskin hats between 2017 and 2022 – equating to nearly 500 slaughtered bears – even though PETA first offered the ministry a superior faux fur produced by luxury faux furrier ECOPEL in 2017 and ECOPEL has committed to supplying an unlimited amount of the fabric to the ministry for free for 10 years.

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, X, TikTok, or Instagram.


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