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New Fur Investigation: Bears Baited With Cookies, Shot With Crossbows

A PETA investigation undertaken in Ontario, Canada, filmed hunters luring bears to a drum baited with cookies, bagels, and greasy foods before shooting and disemboweling them. Hunters later skin the bears and may sell their fur—the very fur used to make the King’s Guard’s caps that PETA has demanded be replaced with faux fur.

Please view the video below narrated by renowned British actor Stephen Fry and then take action to speak up against the slaughter of bears.

Bears Lured With Cookies, Shot With Crossbows

Baiting bears is banned in parts of North America and condemned by conservation groups as cruel and “unsportsmanlike,” but PETA’s disturbing investigation shows hunters luring bears with buckets of sweet or greasy food before shooting the unsuspecting animals with crossbows.

A Slow, Painful Death From Blood Loss

As the investigator witnessed, bears who are shot don’t always die outright. They may flee and endure a slow and extremely painful death from infection or blood loss. Sometimes, hunters only find them hours later, if they even bother to follow the bloody trail. During spring hunts, nursing mothers may be among those killed, leaving behind cubs who are unable to survive without them and starve.

Fur Sold to the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence

Once hunters have slaughtered the bears, they may keep parts of their bodies, such as the head or claws, as trophies they imagine are “macho” and sell or auction off the fur. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) cap makers buy the fur of slaughtered black bears and use it to make the headgear worn by the King’s Guard.

PETA U.K. has provided Secretary of State for Defence Grant Shapps with the footage and called on the MoD to stop supporting this barbaric industry, which is entirely at odds with public opinion in the U.K., as 95% of British people say they reject the use of animal fur. PETA U.K. and faux furrier ECOPEL have developed a faux fur that meets each of the MoD’s criteria for a replacement for the caps, yet the ministry has dug in its heels and apparently will require a public uproar before it will make the switch.

498 Bears Killed in Just Six Years

It takes the skin of at least one bear—each one an individual with thoughts, feelings, and the desire to live—to make a single cap. According to public records obtained by PETA U.K., the MoD bought 498 bearskin hats between 2017 and 2022.

And while the Canadian Department of National Defence claims that all the hats worn by its Ceremonial Guard are made from fur that’s over 20 years old, wearing any fur sends the same unacceptable message as wearing newly obtained fur—that it’s OK to lure animals and kill them for the sake of an ornament.

The Origins of the Bearskin Caps

The MoD has frequently and entirely disingenuously claimed that the bear pelts used by the King’s Guard are a byproduct of a “cull” overseen by Canadian authorities. Yet federal and provincial Canadian governments have confirmed that no such cull exists. The Canadian government issues “tags” to hunting enthusiasts—such as those seen in the footage—who are then free to bait and kill an allotted number of bears and sell their skin. It’s a blood sport effectively subsidized by the MoD.

Faux Bear Fur Is Available Right Now

PETA U.K. and luxury faux furrier ECOPEL have created the world’s first faux bear fur that’s virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, and laboratory tests confirm that ECOPEL’s faux bear fur performs as well as or better than real bear fur according to the MoD’s five criteria for a replacement fabric.

Since this innovative faux-fur option is available, there’s no excuse to continue using bear fur on hats.

What You Can Do

Instead of buying caps obtained from the shameful slaughter of black bears, the U.K. should set a compassionate example by switching to high-tech, luxurious faux fur. Please urge the U.S. ambassador to the U.K., Jane Hartley, to use her influence to help replace bearskin with faux fur for the King’s Guard’s caps.

New Fur Investigation: Bears Baited With Cookies, Shot With Crossbows

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