Simon Pegg urges Queen’s Buckingham Palace guards to ditch ‘cruel’ bearskin caps
British comedy star Simon Pegg said it is a "disgrace" that soldiers in the Queen’s Guard are "still parading around with the fur of bears who were gunned down".
The Mission Impossible actor, 52, said "it is time" for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to replace the bearskin used on the ceremonial caps worn by the guards.
The Queen's Guard are primarily based at Buckingham Palace and St James's Palace.
Pegg is supporting a People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) campaign urging the MoD to switch the caps in their uniform the world’s first faux bear fur – which matches the length of real bearskin and is waterproof.
The star, who hails from Gloucester, said: "It’s a disgrace that soldiers in the Queen’s Guard are still parading around with the fur of bears – who were gunned down in Canada – on their heads.
"The caps serve no military purpose and each one costs at least one bear their life.
"The ceremonial bearskins could easily be replaced with faux fur, retaining the traditional look but eliminating the cruelty.
"It’s time for the Ministry of Defence to drop the petty excuses and make the switch – it’s what the British public wants and what bears need."
The Go Fake For The Bears’ Sake campaign coincides with a petition, launched by Britain’s Got Talent star Alesha Dixon, which has just more than half the 100,000 signatures it needs to trigger a Parliamentary debate about the MoD’s use of bearskin.
In a statement, the MoD said: "Bears are never hunted to order for use by the MoD.
"Bear pelts that are used by the MoD are byproducts of licensed culls by the Canadian authorities to manage the wild bear population.
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"Therefore, any reduction in the number of bearskins procured by the MoD would not equate to a reduction in the numbers of bears being killed.
"Our guardsmen take immense pride in wearing the bearskin cap, which is an iconic image of Britain.
"Ensuring the guards’ caps remain both practical and smart is vital and currently there are currently no artificial alternatives available that meet the essential requirements for these ceremonial caps.
"Where manmade alternatives to replace natural fur items provide a suitable, affordable and sustainable alternative to animal products, the MoD will use them.
"For example, faux fur is now used for the smaller busby hats worn by the King’s Troop."