Stop Killing Black Bears for Royal Guards’ Fur Caps


Target: UK Ministry of Defence

Goal: 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.


Dear UK Ministry of Defence,

It’s understood that the uniforms of the Queen’s Royal Guards are a part of United Kingdom tradition. However, the black bear pelts used to create the iconic caps are often obtained inhumanly. Many bears, lured in towards hunters with food, must be shot many times before they finally die. Bears who are able to escape suffer greatly before they die from blood loss or starvation. In many of the areas where these bears are hunted,  there are no laws against shooting mother bears with cubs. This means not only must the mother bear die, but her young cubs are abandoned and left to die.

In these modern times, there is no reason why the Queen’s Guards’ caps should not be able to be created from high quality fake fur. Faux fur caps will most likely look so similar to real bear fur hats that most people would not even notice a difference. You have the opportunity to maintain tradition while at the same time helping to end animal cruelty.  Please stop supporting cruel black bear hunters and look into more humane options.


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  1. rien que pour faire ces chapeaux c’est scandaleux , je trouve ca ecoeurant il faut que ca stop !!!

  2. how many of you people defending bears actually spend any time around them? black bear numbers are not declining, i just came across 3 diff bears in 24 hours. where i am 70% of deer fawns dont live more than a week due to bear and coyotes cruising around eating the helpless little critters. so i must assume you all hate baby deer and love to see them die. save a deer, eat a bear. better yet, go BE eaten by a bear. idiots

  3. Anonymous the Poet says:

    Much as I find this horrific and cruel, I am also horrified by the hypocrisy of some of the comments. I bet most of you wear leather and eat meat (usually raised in awful conditions and slaughtered just as painfully) without a qualm. Why do people get so up in arms about some animals, but continue to be completely oblivious to the horrible treatment of others?

  4. covardia…Um absurdo,um caprincho covarde da rainha!Misericordia estou passada com isso…o q esse bichinho fizeram p ter um fim assim???Já pensou se fosse couro da gente em cima da cabeça do guarda da rainha???Maltratar animal é crime.Eles são inocente,o ser humano q é um mostro!

  5. valquiria ferreira says:

    Que ovardia isso, deixe os ursos em paz!!!

  6. crueldade com os animais,por favor acabem com isso,eles sofrem demais.

  7. resumindo em uma pergunta quem sao os animais?

  8. I have signed because I do believe they should change now, if only for appearances sake, but there is an awful lot of ignorance and silliness expressed here. I do wish people would bother to find out the facts before making such fools of themselves!

  9. It’s 2013, no one should be using animal skin/fur for anything anymore as there are so many alternatives.

  10. Another sign of this outdated pathetic country. It is about time the whole idea of having idiots like these wandering around in ‘fancy dress’ to protect the likes of the unelected Head of State was abolished. When will residents of the U.K. ‘get real’ and elect a democratic government and elected Head of State to replace the idiotic debacle they have now – Get Modern!!

  11. This is a disgrace. They gave her an alternate to killing these bears and she would not agree. Shame on her. Just because bears cannot defend themselves. How would she like it if they skinned her to make Queen Elizabeth pocketbooks?


  13. This is outrageous how on earth does this cruelty go on, just because she is the Queen doesn’t exclude her from killing these beautiful animals, for her damn grads to stand around in the blazing heat and cold just to make themselves look good. Shame on her:(

  14. giuseppe izzi says:

    il primo ministro inglese insieme a quello della difesa andassero a cagare perchè entrambi sono degli idioti se ancora vige questa usanza di indossare pellicce di orsi innocenti come cappelli per le guardie reali è una VERGOGNA !!!!!!!!!!!! SIETE DEGLI ARRETRATI DEL CAZZO VERGOGNATI INGHILTERRA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Vergogna!!!!!!!!uniamo le forze per combattere questo Mondo schifoso


  17. Cecily Colloby says:

    Another so called “tradition” based on cruelty and therefore it has to continue!! Perhaps the Queen also believes drinking juice made from boiled cats will make her live longer -or whatever it is the sub human Chinese believe….

  18. its disgusting that we still use the fur of these beautiful creatures for soldiers dress uniforms. There is absolutely no reason why we can’t use fake fur these days. Come on people where is your care and respect for these wonderful animals. Shame on you

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