Royal Guardsman Calls Out MoD for Use of Bear Fur Caps

Royal Guardsman Calls Out MoD for Use of Bear Fur Caps

London – “I was made aware that majestic bears living freely in Canada are still being killed for ‘sport’ and their fur is used to make our caps,” writes a Royal Guardsman anonymously. “Suddenly, the uniform’s image is tarnished and wearing it feels cruel and inhumane.”

In an exclusive piece for The Independent, a Foot Guard speaks out against the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) continued use of real bear fur for the King’s Guard’s caps, noting that his allegiance to the royal family and the UK – seeking to protect justice, unity, and honour – goes far deeper than what Busby hat he is made to wear. “I am protecting what it means to be British. Certainly, wearing the skin of a dead animal on my head accomplishes none of that,” he writes.

The guard poignantly explains how it takes the skin of at least one bear to make a single cap and highlights that some bears are shot several times before they die – and others escape only to bleed to death. He writes, “This cruel exploitation contradicts my duties as a royal guard. Being a British soldier should be about protecting and saving others.”

He goes on to highlight that the world’s first faux bear fur – created by PETA and luxury faux furrier ECOPEL – has been made readily available to the MoD for years and is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, lighter, and water-resistant.

Calling for change, the guard concludes the piece by urging the MoD to move towards a kinder future: “I believe that making a simple move from cruelty to sustainability serves only to strengthen our traditions. Allow us caps worthy of a Royal Guardsman. Allow us caps worthy of the UK.”

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – 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 last July.

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