Actor Simon Pegg and musician Alesha Dixon are on a mission to persuade the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to ditch fur from the caps worn by the Queen’s Guard.
Soldiers stationed outside of Buckingham Palace traditionally wear bearskin ceremonial caps. But Pegg says it is unnecessary for the MoD to purchase real fur caps when faux options are available.
In collaboration with the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the actor is campaigning to get rid of the bearskin headwear for good.
He said in a statement: “It’s a disgrace that soldiers in the Queen’s Guard are still parading around with the fur of bears – who were gunned down in Canada – on their heads. The caps serve no military purpose and each one costs at least one bear their life.”
“The ceremonial bearskins could easily be replaced with faux fur, retaining the traditional look but eliminating the cruelty,” he added. “It’s time for the Ministry of Defence to drop the petty excuses and make the switch. It’s what the British public wants and what bears need.”
A petition against real bearskin caps
Dixon, along with PETA, launched a government petition on the subject. It states that there is “no excuse” for MoD to fund the slaughter of bears for soldiers’ caps.
So far, the petition has gathered more than 50,000 signatures.
The MoD has responded to calls to change the Queen’s Guard’s headwear. It claims that the furs used to make the caps are the result of a “licensed cull by the Canadian authorities.”
PETA, however, maintains that this is not the truth. It claims it reached out to the Canadian government to question the MoD’s statement and received this response: “[T]he MOD receives the final product from our contracted suppliers and is not involved with the licensed cull sanctioned by the Canadian government.”