Canada’s national police service is ordering 4,470 new muskrat fur hats, but officers will be given the choice to wear fur-free tuques instead, and The Fur-Bearers are encouraging them to do so.
The CBC reported approximately 12,000 muskrats will be killed to fulfill the order of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which was posted for bids on October 2. Muskrats are killed in cruel traps, and their pelts sold for about $5. In 2014, The Fur-Bearers were informed that the RCMP would not eliminate the muskrat fur hat, but create an alternative based on the demands of their members.
“We have listened to the views of external interested parties and of our employees,” the letter received stated. “Through this, the RCMP has tested a winter toque as a potential replacement to the fur hat. The field testing of this item provided very positive results in providing adequate protection against standard cold weather conditions.”
At the time, the Conservative government attempted to thwart this decision to appease the fur industry – fortunately, the much more affordable tuques (about $20 each compared to the last order of $48 each muskrat fur hats), remained an option for most officers.
The RCMP told the CBC that they were unable to identify another option that “matched or exceeded the performance of muskrat fur in extreme cold weather conditions.” They apparently didn’t bother to ask the United States Army which has no fur articles for their extreme cold weather uniforms or training programs.
The Fur-Bearers are encouraging every RCMP officer to choose the fur-free tuque, and to continue to speak to their superiors about their concerns with the muskrat fur hats.
The RCMP may not reverse their decision to tender this order of muskrat fur hats, but it’s important that they hear not just from officers, but from the public they serve. Trapping of muskrats is inherently inhumane, and uses traps that are indiscriminate and cruel, regardless of what a for-profit industry may profess. Please use the RCMP’s online comment form (click here) to submit a letter requesting that they continue looking for fur-free alternatives, look to their counterparts in the Canadian Forces and U.S. military for examples, and to visit MakeFurHistory.com to find out the cruel truth about the fur industry. If you have an RCMP detachment in your community, please also send your letter to them (but do not use their emergency lines or communications to do so).
- Keep it short and specific. You want to make sure your points are straight-forward and easy to read so there’s no mistaking your opinions, and that it isn’t confused with other, unrelated comments.
- Be polite and mindful of language. You may feel a great deal of anger, sadness, or even hate over what you need to write. But when communicating with politicians and government bureaucrats, using hateful language, veiled or indirect threats, or cursing, your points can be more easily ignored, and sometimes even result in resources being redirected as a security measure.
- Provide citations and links. It’s a lot harder to dismiss an argument if there’s clear evidence through citations to reputable documents or media, and links to existing policy or examples. Providing these makes your letter more impactful.
- Request follow up. If you want answers, make sure your questions are clear, and that you expect responses within a certain time period. Remember that in the case of policy input there may not be any systems in place for responses, and to follow up with bureaucrats or politicians.
I am very disappointed that the RCMP will be ordering more than 4,000 new muskrat fur hats, resulting in the deaths of about 12,000 animals. I understand that the safety of officers in all weather conditions is of vital importance to the RCMP, but there are fur-free alternatives that are more cost-effective and don’t require the inherently inhumane trapping of wildlife.
I recommend you look to the US military, who do not use fur, even in special forces extreme cold training programs. I also ask that you visit MakeFurHistory.com to see the truth about the fur industry, from indiscriminate trapping that, regardless of any trade agreements, is inherently inhumane and has rules that are unenforceable, to the dark, disturbing realities of fur farms.
I believe the RCMP can do better – and I hope you do, too.
Your name and address
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