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Calls for iconic bearskin hats worn by Queen’s Guards to be made with faux fur

PETA unveils faux-fur Queen’s Guard cap to save bears

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Animal charity PETA has launched the petition with singer Alesha Dixon calling on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to swap real fur for a faux alternative. The bearskin caps are worn by the Grenadier Guards, the Coldstream Guards, the Scots Guards, the Irish Guards and the Welsh Guards.

The petition comes after PETA teamed up with faux fur company Ecopel to make a fake hat which it says looks and performs exactly like the real thing.

However, the MoD insists there is no suitable alternative for the ceremonial headdress.

PETA director Elisa Allen said: “The British public expects the Government to make good on its animal welfare commitments, and that must include updating the Queen’s Guard’s caps to be made from humane faux fur and not the skins of slaughtered bears.

“The world’s most celebrated and accomplished designers have all ditched real fur in favour of faux, and there is absolutely no justification for the Ministry of Defence not to do the same for its ceremonial headpieces.

“PETA urges everyone who cares about animals to join Alesha Dixon in signing the petition demanding that a cruelty-free cap be quick-marched into service.”

Dixon added: “Most British people are against fur, so it makes no sense for this iconic symbol of the UK to be made with real fur still, especially when an indistinguishable faux fur exists.

“The MoD has the option to retain the aesthetic of the bearskin cap without the cruelty – it must take it.”

The petition also has the backing of Virginia Lewis-Jones, the daughter of the late Dame Vera Lynn, known as the Forces’ Sweetheart, and former soldier Andy Knott MBE, chief executive of animal welfare charity League Against Cruel Sports.

If it reaches 100,000 signatures it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

PETA argues the switch from bearskin would also save taxpayers’ money as Ecopel has offered to provide the MoD with faux fur for the hats free of charge until 2030.

According to the charity, more than £1 million has been spent on the bearskin caps in the last seven years.

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An Army spokesperson said: “The bearskins worn by the Guards are part of our proud military history and identity.

“There are no suitable alternatives.

“These bearskins, like leather, horn and sheepskin are by-products of other purposes and should not be confused with fur farming.

“Guards bearskins are sourced from the by-product of a necessary cull of black bears in Canada. The bears are not bred for the purpose of fur.”

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