David Cameron: Tell the PM to stop using bear fur to make the Queen's guard's hats
There is no need to kill the black bear for the sake of dressing a guard.
- Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party
David Cameron MP
Ask that high quality synthetic materials be used to make helmets to replace bearskin hats made from slaughtered black bears
The Queen’s Royal Guards, with their red suits and iconic tall black hats, are a traditional British image. However, many people may not be aware that the fuzzy tall black hats worn by the UK’s Royal Guards are made from black bear pelts. The United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence spends large sums of money importing bear hides from North America. Black bear numbers are decreasing throughout North America, and hunting techniques used to kill them are oftentimes overly cruel. In these modern times, there should be no reason why high quality fake fur cannot be used to replace real bear pelts.
Most of the black bear pelts used for caps in the UK are imported from Canada. The bears are normally killed by hunters, who often use baits to lure bears into areas where they can more easily be shot. An estimated 15% of black bears are not killed immediately after being shot. Many of these bears escape, and later die a lingering death from blood loss or starvation. Some bears are required to be shot more than once before they are killed, making their deaths painful and frightening. In many locations where bears are hunted, there are no rules against shooting mother bears who have cubs. Most cubs, too young to care for themselves, die soon after the death of their mother.
It can take one entire bear hide to create a single guard’s cap. Although the bearskin caps are part of the Royal Guard’s traditional uniform, there is no reason why faux fur caps cannot be created to look just as regal as real bear fur. Ask the UK Ministry of Defence to stop supporting the cruel hunting of North American black bears and to consider the much more humane option of high quality faux fur.
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