UK PM’s U-turn over bear fur sparks PETA’s anger

A leaked email revealed that Boris Johnson backed the military’s continued use of black bear fur because they looked better

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has supported the continued use of real black bear fur for the hats worn by the Queen’s Coldstream Guards, marking a U-turn since his time as mayor of London, when he supported synthetic fur.

The revelation was laid out in a December email from the prime minister to a constituent that was leaked to the media.

In the message, seemingly addressed to a member of the Armed Forces, Johnson states that, despite the Ministry of Defence having conducted tests using fake fur, it was rejected, among other reasons, because it “performed poorly on visual assessment.”

The faux fur had been commissioned by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which told LBC that bears “shouldn’t be slaughtered for ornamental hats.”

The statement from Johnson marks a U-turn from his time as mayor of London, where he was clear that synthetic fur should replace real fur if it would “help save a few bears.”

In 2020, PETA named Johnson’s wife, Carrie, as their “person of the year” and later bought the couple a rescued goose, which resides at a Norwich animal sanctuary, as a wedding gift.

“There is no doubt that the Queen’s Guard’s bearskin caps are iconic. There is also absolutely no doubt that their production is cruel, which is why they should be replaced with a modern, humane faux fur befitting the 21st century,” Peta said in January.

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