UK’s Ministry of Defence spending nearly ‎£1M on bearskin hats

British advocates are reeling after it was revealed that England’s Ministry of Defence has spent £880,163 on bearskin hats – which are produced in Canada – since 2008. The 925 caps are work roughly £950 per piece – or nearly $2,000 Canadian dollars (based on today’s values).

Despite outcries in recent years from British subjects due to the ethics and rising costs associated with the hats, as well as citizens in Canada and around the world, the Ministry of Defence has not moved to find an alternative. The Ministry has noted that they have not found any material comparable for use.

But Canada’s own national police service – the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – has moved away from using fur by finding a synthetic alternative that not only out performed the fur in most conditions, but costed significantly less. The Ministry of Defence has also been told that popular ethical designer Stella McCartney and others would be willing to develop alternatives on their behalf.

The political response was typical tap dancing: the Minister in charge stated that the MoD does not purchase bear skins or kill bears, but buys the finished products from a Canadian company, which follows all Canadian laws. Of course, what that means is the MoD creates a demand that a Canadian company then buys bear skins to fulfill. The value of bear skins created by this demand also inspires more hunting and trapping.

Please consider writing to the Ministry of Defence to register your concern about their ongoing use of our bears in such a pointless, yet heinous manner by emailing MP Philip Dunne, who is in charge of procurement for the Ministry, at philip.dunne.mp@parliament.uk.


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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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