SIR - Now that PETA has unveiled the world’s first faux bear fur, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has no excuse for continuing to wage war on black bears.

Using real bearskins in the Queen’s Guard’s caps flies in the face of the values of the British public, 95per cent of whom object to killing animals for their fur. Today, most designers, retailers, and high-profile individuals - including the Queen herself - have shunned the cruelly obtained material. The UK banned fur farming 20 years ago, and with a ban on the sale of fur anticipated, the MoD cannot deem itself exempt from the standards of the rest of society.

Bears are cruelly killed for their fur by being shot during hunts or ensnared, sometimes for days, in painful traps. In some Canadian provinces, there are no restrictions on shooting mothers with nursing cubs, who are left behind to starve. It takes the entire hide of one black bear to make just one guard’s cap.

To add insult to injury, these ornamental hats cost UK taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds every year. A Freedom of Information request revealed that over £1 million of taxpayers’ money was spent on bearskin caps in the past seven years alone.

It’s past time for the MoD to end this unbearable cruelty and switch to modern, humane faux fur that is indistinguishable from the real thing.

Elisa Allen, Director PETA, All Saints Street, London