Photos: Nearly 500 Bloodied ‘Bears’ Demand Fur-Free Caps for the King’s Guard

Photos: Nearly 500 Bloodied ‘Bears’ Demand Fur-Free Caps for the King’s Guard

London – Today, PETA supporters placed 498 “blood”-splattered bear cut-outs on Union Jack flags outside the Ministry of Defence (MoD) building in Whitehall to protest the MoD’s support of the slaughter of Canadian black bears – whose fur is used to make the caps worn by the King’s Guard – and to call on defence minister Grant Shapps to spare bears by switching to faux fur.

Images are also available here.

“The MoD is creating a market for bear fur and incentivising hunters to slaughter Canadian black bears by continuing to make the ceremonial hats from their fur,” says PETA Senior Campaigns Manager Kate Werner. “PETA is calling on the secretary of state to make the switch to luxurious, humane faux fur that enables the ministry to respect tradition while leaving bears in peace.”

According to public records obtained by PETA, the MoD has purchased 498 bearskin hats over the past six years, from 2017 to 2022. As the group points out, it can take the hide of one bear to make a single cap. PETA’s superior, humane faux fur was first offered to the MoD in 2017, when luxury faux furrier ECOPEL committed to supplying it with an unlimited amount for free until 2030. This makes the death of these 498 bears particularly shameful and unnecessary.

The MoD frequently makes the claim that the bear pelts are a byproduct of a “cull” overseen by Canadian authorities. Yet, as confirmed to PETA by both the federal and provincial Canadian governments, no such cull exists. Instead, the Canadian government issues “tags” to hunting enthusiasts, who are then free to bait and kill an allotted number of bears and sell their skin for profit. Many bears are shot several times, and some escape only to bleed to death. During spring hunts, nursing mothers are among those killed and leave behind cubs who starve to death without them.

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, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), or Instagram.


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