Animal rights group PETA on Friday said that it is taking legal action against the UK defence ministry.
Bearskin hats are worn by members of the King’s Household Division (Photo: Twitter |@peta)
By India Today Web Desk: Animal rights group PETA has announced that it will sue the UK defence ministry for refusing to test a fake fur version of the distinctive bearskin hats worn by ceremonial guards.
The tall black hats are worn by the elite regiments, including for the Changing of the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace, and are one of the most well-known symbols of the UK.
PETA has long advocated against the use of Canadian black bear fur. The animal rights group has created a prototype replacement hat out of shaggy acrylic material.
“We are seeking the court’s intervention so that the MoD fully evaluates the report and reaches a fresh decision by fair process,” PETA’s lawyer Lorna Hackett said, as quoted by news agency AFP.
“Unfortunately, they’re just holding back progress by not moving forward with the faux fur cap. They refused to test it, which they had committed to doing numerous times over the years. And so now we’re at the stage where we’re mounting a legal challenge to try to force the MoD to reconsider its decision,” PETA senior campaign manager Kate Werner said.
The UK government said in a statement earlier this year that there were “no plans” to switch, adding that the fake fur backed by PETA “does not in fact reach the standards needed to provide an effective replacement for our bearskin ceremonial caps.”
In July, parliament debated a switch to fake fur after a petition online gathered over 100,000 signatures.
Meanwhile, PETA has asked King Charles III to replace stoat ermine robes with faux fur at his coronation next year.
(With agency input)