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Ricky Gervais: Bearskin Caps Are Not a Laughing Matter
Ricky Gervais: Bearskin Caps Are Not a Laughing Matter

PICS: HUNDREDS MARCH THROUGH CENTRAL LONDON WITH MESSAGE TO 'SPARE THE BEARS'
PICS: HUNDREDS MARCH THROUGH CENTRAL LONDON WITH MESSAGE TO 'SPARE THE BEARS'

Brit Award–Winning Singer Joss Stone's Naked Bearskins Ad
Brit Award–Winning Singer Joss Stone's Naked Bearskins Ad

PETA Gives MoD a '21-Bum Salute'
PETA Gives MoD
a '21-Bum Salute'

Jamie Bamber Bares Skin to Save Bears in New PETA Ad
Jamie Bamber Bares Skin to Save Bears in New PETA Ad

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Campaign Details

Save My Skin! Despite a public outcry, bears are still slaughtered in order to make the queen's guards' caps. It takes as much as the entire hide of one bear to make just one guard's headpiece. The black bears are hunted in Canada, and their skins are shipped to the UK. Many of the bears are shot several times before they die, and some escape the hunters and bleed to death. When mother bears are killed, orphaned cubs are left behind to starve.

The MoD has told PETA that "considerable efforts have been made" in the past to explore alternative sources of material, but that none was found to be "suitable". Yet when it was presented with high-tech synthetic materials by PETA - sourced from leading faux-fur manufacturers around the world and made to the MoD's own specifications - the MoD was quick to make negative comments about the faux fur, saying that it "lacks life" and "doesn't bounce back".

Questions tabled recently in the House of Commons by Mike Hancock, MP for Portsmouth South, have revealed the MoD's shocking lack of initiative in moving towards finding a replacement for the bearskin caps which are worn by the queen's five guards regiments. When asked if he would make it a policy to use synthetic materials instead of animal fur, Secretary of State for Defence Adam Ingram stated, "If an alternative is sourced and found to be fit for purpose, replacement of bearskins will be considered". What Ingram failed to point out is that the MoD has used this line for two decades, yet in the past five years alone, it has contributed more than £321,000 to the slaughter of black bears for ceremonial caps and continues to move extremely slowly in looking for a replacement.

More than 200 British Members of Parliament signed on to Early Day Motion (EDM) 1756 in a recent parliamentary session in the House of Commons. This progressive motion pointed out that the ornamental caps serve no military purpose whatsoever – as one of the MPs who support EDM 1756 pointed out, they are not even bullet-proof – and called on the government to support a change to a modern and humane synthetic fabric.

With the resources, science and technology which are at the MoD's disposal, it is inexcusable that the same army which is capable of building some of the most sophisticated equipment and machinery in the world claims it is unable to find a synthetic replacement for bearskins after two decades of "searching" and despite the wide availability of luxurious synthetic materials.

You Can Help Spare Bears!

Take action today and sign the petition telling the MoD you oppose their continued financial support of the slaughter of black bears for ceremonial purposes.
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