Public Opinion Poll Results Overwhelming: Off With The Guards’ Bearskin Caps

Vast Majority of Britons Back PETA’s Call to End the Slaughter of Bears

For Immediate Release:
21 November 2006

Anita Singh 020 7357 9229, ext 228
Karen Chisholm 020 7357 9229, ext 229

London – The British people have spoken, and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) might want to listen. In a recent poll commissioned by PETA Europe and conducted by independent polling company YouGov, nearly 80 per cent of respondents were opposed to the use of taxpayer money to kill Canadian black bears and have their skins fashioned into ceremonial caps for The Queen’s Five Guards’ Regiments.

Not surprisingly, nearly half of the 2,747 people polled from across Great Britain were unaware that the bearskin caps are made of real fur, something the MoD does not publicise. Nearly 70 per cent of respondents opposed the use of real fur for the caps, and they are not alone. More than 200 members of Parliament have signed on to Early Day Motion 1756, which calls for the MoD to stop using real bearskins for the caps. After claiming to “search” for a suitable alternative for more than two decades, the MoD has been quick to criticise efforts made by leading faux-fur manufacturers from around the world in their attempts to provide a synthetic material.

“The message from the British people couldn’t be clearer: Spare the bears”, says Anita Singh. “There is no excuse to continue slaughtering bears for ceremonial hats. Tradition never justifies cruelty.”

It can take the entire hide of one bear to make just one guard’s hat. Some of the bears are shot several times before they die; some are shot but escape only to bleed to death. When mother bears are killed, their cubs are left to starve.

For more information and to view the results of the YouGov poll in detail, please visit