It’s barely believable, but it’s true: after decades of campaigning, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have announced their decision to replace muskrat fur hats from their standard cold-weather uniforms.
Since the 1970s, under the leadership of George and Bunty Clements, APFA has rallied against the RCMP for their use of inherently inhumane fur in their standard uniform. For every one hat issued in cold weather conditions, three or four muskrats had to die. But today, that is no longer true.
In a letter received at our Vancouver office earlier this month, an RCMP officer revealed that:
“We have listened to the views of external interested parties and of our employees. 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.”
This kind of victory is not ours alone. This is the victory of every single Canadian who said no to fur, who shared the truth about the fur trade, who said that tradition was not a good enough reason. Most of all, this is a victory for the animals.
The debate is not yet finished: the RCMP will continue to use fur hats for arctic/severe cold weather conditions, as well as other fur products in that uniform. But we have seen a willingness now to test and experiment with humane alternatives, and have every reason to believe they will continue looking for more sustainable, humane choices for their uniforms.
We will continue to work at showing the RCMP these humane options. And we know, that someday, all of Canada will truly be fur-free.