PETA supporters placed 498 “blood”-splattered bear cut-outs on massive Union Jack flags outside the Ministry of Defence (MoD) building in Whitehall. The move was 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 urge the new defence minister, Grant Shapps, to spare bears by switching to faux fur.
The MoD is creating a market for bear fur and incentivising hunters to slaughter Canadian black bears by purchasing ceremonial caps made from bearskin.
Switching to humane faux fur would enable the secretary of state to respect tradition while leaving bears in peace.
498 Bears in Six Years
According to public records obtained by PETA, the MoD purchased 498 bearskin hats in the six-year period between 2017 and 2022. As it takes the pelt of at least one bear to make a single cap, this equates to the death of upwards of 498 living, feeling beings.
PETA’s superior, humane faux fur was first offered to the MoD in 2017. 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.
Bears Baited and Hunted in Canada
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 may be killed and leave behind cubs who starve to death without them.
Send the Defence Minister a Message Now
Help spare bears by urging the MoD to switch to faux fur for the King’s Guard’s caps now: