Friday, 26 August 2011

Please protest Denmark's use of Bearskin Hats. Save the Black Bears. One petition, one sample letter

The Danish Monarchy is one of the oldest in the world and keeps holding on to old traditions.
One of these traditions is the Danish Royal Guards. This guards wears hats made ​​of fur from endangered black bears.

In Copenhagen, lies a famous old amusement park called Tivoli which is designed as an adventure garden with reference to Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales.
In the park there is a miniature castle with a King and a Queen and a guard consisting of children. This guard, dating back to 1901, is known as the Tivoli Boy Guard and is basically a children's version of the Danish Royal Guards. These children are dressed like the Danish Royal Guards and also wear hats of bear fur.

Presently there are no indications that the Canadian black bear can look forward to more peaceful times. As the Royal Family's own guards have no intensions to change their main ornamental, namely their bearskin hats. 
Canada is a supplier of these bears. The bears are hunted by cruel and painful methods. In addition, the killing of black bears for their skin also leaves several bear cubs orphaned. Unable to defend themselves and survive on their own.  Please watch this video to see how the killing takes place:

Sample letter
To Whom it may concern
It has come to our attention that, despite protestation from global collective encouraging otherwise and demonstrative evidence establishing profound cruelty, you let children in the Tivoli Boys Guard wear bearskin hats made of threatened black bears.
Please allow us this opportunity to elaborate.
All animals possess sentience, the capacity for thought and emotion, and the ability to experience discomfort, love, fear, and pain.
It is the communication distinction of such that human animals exploit to validate the suffering of non-human animals. Indeed, if an animal could speak a human-based language, for example, would you be capable of diminishing his worth to a commodity or resource to merely satisfy your desire?
To excuse using manipulated language, religion, or tradition, though, only favours humans in egotistical and immoral manners: defining an act as justifiable creates equality for only one species, only the victim of such acts can grant true justice, however.
Please watch this video and see what terrible suffering the bears undergo before they die.
In addition, the killing of black bears for their skin also leaves several bear cubs orphaned. Unable to defend themselves and survive on their own.
We ask you earnestly to use synthetic material for hats, which also is more comfortable for the children.
Please don’t let children be unconscious contributes to extreme and unnecessary cruelty.
Thank you for your attention to this important issue
Name and Country

(Please feel free to write your own letter. It often has the greatest effect)

In Canada, black bears are considered as both a big game and furbearer species in all provinces save for New Brunswick and Northwest Territories, where they are only classed as a big game species. There are currently 80,822 licensed black bear hunters in all of Canada. Canadian black bear hunts take place in autumn and winter, and both male and female bears can be legally taken, though some provinces prohibit the hunting of females with cubs, or yearling specimens.


Reply from the Royal Danish Life Guards:

The Royal Danish Life Guards use headpieces made out of bearskin. The hide used for the caps is produced from the pelt of the black bear. The current cap is called model 1850 and, previously, the cap has gone through many stages of development with different shapes and degrees of fur covering. Thus, the Royal Danish Life Guards have used bearskin for headwear for more than 200 years.

For many years now, pelts from the Canadian black bear (Ursus Americanus) have been used. The black bear lives in the wild and the population is being monitored and regulated locally by biologists and forestry authorities. The efforts to regulate and maintain a healthy and sustainable population entails the issuing of annual permissions to kill a relevant number in different areas. The number of issued permissions is based on an annual count. Like any hunting in the civilised world, the hunting season is ethically adjusted so that the killing of females with small cubs is not allowed.

The bears are killed by being shot. Leg hold traps are no longer used and have not been used for many years since they ruin the hides and, consequently, the payment that the hunters receive for the hides will be less. Naturally, the hunters are interested in making as much money as possible for their product.

Pretty much everything on the killed bear is used. The meat is a great and popular delicacy, and the hides are scraped and coarsely tanned, after which they are gathered into lots and sold on fur auctions in Canada. Obviously, the demand for fur varies from year to year but for many years, the population has been stable and on the increase. The fur is a mere by-product of the population regulation. It is only used for bearskin caps and is only in demand for this sole purpose in England and Denmark. The fur is not useable in the clothing industry as it is too heavy and long-haired. If it was not for the demand for bearskin for caps, the fur would most likely be destroyed as the processing is expensive and there is only this limited usage.

The black bear is on the list of critically endangered animals and plants in the “Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)”, often referred to as the Washington Convention. This is an international convention that regulates the import and export as well as trade and use of critically endangered animal and plant species. In Denmark, the convention is administered by the Danish Nature Agency. All imports and exports are inspected twice to trace their origins by the customs authorities, and only pelts that have been legally bagged are allowed across national borders. Furthermore, the usage of the bearskins has been approved by the World Wildlife Found WWF.

Thus, the Royal Danish Life Guards only use pelts which in a completely legal manner are the result of the efforts to continue to develop a healthy and sustainable bear population in the country of origin. One might even argue that by purchasing the pelts, we help support a healthy and sustainable bear population. It is ecology and sustainable handling of nature’s resources to the greatest possible extent!

In the 70s, the population was low and experiments with synthetic bearskin were conducted. However, the experiment had to be abandoned since the caps looked peculiar, to put it mildly; several guards experienced headaches during use; the fur collapsed when it rained; and in addition static electricity occurred.

In recent years, militant animal welfare organisations have repeatedly attempted to put pressure on Danish Defence and the Royal Danish Life Guards to give up the use of bearskin. This takes place by way of different campaigns and happenings, where reasoning and rhetoric at best show an obvious ignorance of the real situation. Emotional sceneries of animal abuse are depicted, which might possibly still actually take place in desolate corners of the world, but which are very far from the reality that “our” bears have experienced.

Yours sincerely,
Peter Kragelund
Press and Information Officer
The Royal Danish Life Guards
Høveltevej 111-117
DK-3460 Birkerød
Tel.: 4599 4000
Dir.: 4599 4009
Mobile: +45 4132 2203

Facts are:
1. Spring bear hunting is legal in all provinces of Canada except Ontarion, meaning that females are shot generating dozens of orphaned cubs each year that require rehab when legal. In those provinces were it isn't legal the cubs are killed by the government

2. Bear baiting stations is legal in all provinces. They work by tempting bears into places where they would normally not go and then they are shot by hunters.

3. All parts of the bears are not used - most bears are killed by trophy hunters. Most people don't eat bear meat and it is not considered a delicacy in Canada.


1 comment:

  1. With so many synthetics available why kill a bear, orphan the cubs all for a hat! This is selfish and it's cruelty. Yes, the royal family is selfish and cruel! Please have a heart and become more humane! Thank you.