“The humane, high-performing faux fur gives a nod to tradition while preventing sensitive bears from being viciously slaughtered for their fur.”
Luxury faux furrier ECOPEL has teamed up with PETA to create the world’s first faux bear fur to make the Queen’s Guard’s caps.
The humane, high-performing faux fur is indistinguishable from the real bearskins used in making the traditional headdress for the Queen’s Guards.
It comes after guardsmen splashed out tens of thousands of pounds on new real bearskin hats in March following which George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, launched a consultation on prohibiting the sale of fur in post-Brexit Britain.
Bearskin caps serve no military purpose
Normally, between 50 and 100 of the 18-inch hats, used by the military since the 1815 defeat of Napoleon, are bought by the Army each year.
Each cap costs a whopping £1,305 and at least one Canadian black bear their life. These bears are often shot but not killed immediately. As many as one bear in seven will escape wounded and die slowly from blood loss or starvation. Nursing cubs are left to starve, meaning the slaughter of entire families.
According to PETA, more than £1 million worth of UK taxpayers’ money has been spent on these cruelly produced caps in the past seven years, despite the fact that they serve no military purpose.
Furthermore, MoD spent £145,000 on 110 new bearskins after complaining that trials of fake fur in 2014 had led to guardsmen’s headgear becoming “waterlogged”.
The vegan charity added that ECOPEL’s faux bear fur not only matches the exact length of real fur but is also 100% waterproof – as confirmed by a Ministry of Defence (MoD) copyrighted test, commissioned by PETA and conducted at the MoD’s accredited laboratory.
ECOPEL has offered to provide the MoD with faux bear fur free of charge until 2030.
Ban the cruel archaic bearskin cap
Guardsmen’s hats have long been on the animal rights campaigners’ radar.
Celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Pamela Anderson, Stella McCartney, Ricky Gervais, Joanna Lumley, and the late Sir Roger Moore have all called on the MoD to replace the bearskin caps with humane faux fur.
Carrie Symonds, Boris Johnson’s wife has also urged the military to ditch bear fur.
Over the years, the MoD has replaced leopard and beaver fur with faux fur.
Nearly 20 years after the UK banned fur farming, and with a post-Brexit ban on the importation of fur anticipated, a tried-and-tested alternative to bear fur is now ready to be rolled out.
‘Preventing sensitive bears from vicious slaughter’
Ingrid Newkirk is the founder of PETA. She said: “The humane, high-performing faux fur created by Ecopel gives a nod to tradition while preventing sensitive bears from being viciously slaughtered for their fur.
“PETA looks forward to seeing this 21st century cap – which reflects the fur-free values of Her Majesty and animal-loving Britons – quick-marched into service.”
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