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Bryan Adams Calls Out Canadian Armed Forces Over Bearskin Caps: ‘End the Cruelty and Go Fur-Free’

The CAF has switched to faux fur "where possible," a Department of National Defence spokesperson tells Billboard.

Bryan Adams Calls Out Canadian Armed Forces Over Bearskin Caps: ‘End the Cruelty and Go Fur-Free’

Bryan Adams performs during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games 2017 at Air Canada Centre on Sept. 30, 2017 in Toronto, Canada.

Harry How/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

In 1998, Bryan Adams was promoted to the rank of Officer of the Order of Canada for his contributions to popular music and his philanthropic work across a number of causes. Twenty-six years later, the (Everything I Do) I Do It for You” singer’s commitment to animal rights has landed him a new target that’s quite close to home — the Canadian Armed Forces.

In a new PETA video shared exclusively with Billboard, the Grammy winner details how bears suffer harrowing, drawn-out deaths for the fur used to make decorative headpieces worn by the CAF’s Ceremonial Guards. As PETA’s graphic, investigative footage depicts, recreational hunters in Ontario bait the animals with buckets of food before shooting them with crossbows and then disemboweling and dismembering them. While hunters save the bears’ body parts as trophies, according to PETA, they also sell the skins to buyers who make ceremonial headgear.


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“Shot bears don’t always die right away. Desperate and in pain, some bears flee the hunters and endure a slow, painful death from infection or blood loss,” Adams narrates in the video. “Nursing mothers are sometimes shot, leaving behind cubs who starve, unable to survive on their own.”

“The Canadian government is endorsing this cruelty by using real bear fur on its military caps, even though military-grade faux bear fur now exists,” the musician concludes in the video. (PETA U.K. and luxury faux furrier ECOPEL have developed a replacement state-of-the-art faux fur for use.) “Tell the Canadian government to end the cruelty and go fur-free.”

In a statement to Billboard, Andrée-Anne Poulin, a spokesperson for Canada’s Department of National Defence, explained that the DND and the CAF have already switched over to using synthetic fur “where possible,” citing the shift away from the fur-lined winter accessories that dominated the 19th century.

“It’s important to note that most of the bearskin hats worn by the Ceremonial Guard are more than 20 years old and are well-maintained from the thorough care they have received over the decades,” Poulin says. “DND/CAF refurbish and extend the life of the existing hats, taking every effort to only re-use bearskins that were previously acquired.”

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Animal rights are not the only cause Adams is raising his flag for. In February, the Grammy winner shared “Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son,” an original song written for the Lorna Tucker-helmed documentary of the same name that stands as call to action against the worldwide struggle of homelessness.

Watch Bryan Adams and PETA’s new video calling for the Canadian Armed Forces to end its use of bearskin caps. (Warning: The video contains graphic content.)

This article was originally published by Billboard U.S.

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