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A ban on bearskin caps for the Queen’s Guards will finally be debated in Parliament next week.

Campaigners, led by Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon, have demanded a block on the Ministry of Defence using real fur for the famous ceremonial headwear.

The Westminster showdown has been scheduled for July 11 after more than 106,000 people signed an online petition.

It said: “There is no excuse for the Ministry of Defence to continue to effectively fund the slaughter of bears for ceremonial headgear since an indistinguishable alternative has been produced, which is waterproof, and mimics real bear fur in appearance and performance.”

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Peta insisted the fake fur it has developed with specialists Ecopel “looks and performs exactly like the bearskin used to make the Queen’s Guards’ caps”.

Alesha Dixon backs a ban ( ITV)

It adds: “The faux fur fabric meets all the Ministry of Defence requirements: it matches the exact length of real bear fur, is 100% waterproof, and performs similarly in water shedding and compression tests.

“It even outperforms bear fur in drying rate testing.”

Activists want the fake fur to replace the iconic caps seen on State occasions and worn by sentry troops guarding royal residences, including Buckingham Palace, St James’ Palace and Clarence House.

The campaign, spearheaded by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, was co-sponsored by Virginia Lewis-Jones, the daughter of the late Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn, and former soldier Andy Knott, chief executive of the League Against Cruel Sports, as well as singer Alehsa.

Virginia Lewis-Jones and her late mother, Dame Vera Lynn ( BBC)

Peta’s senior campaigns manager Kate Werner said: “The MoD has always maintained that its support of the slaughter of Canadian black bears would end as soon as a suitable alternative was available.

“That day has now come and it’s high time for the new faux fur cap to be quick-marched into service.”

In its response to the petition, the MoD said: “Guardsmen take great pride in wearing the bearskin cap which is an iconic image of Britain.

The bearskin caps are a familiar sight at State occasions ( Getty Images)

“It must look smart but also be practical for the guardsman to wear in wet or dry weather.

“Unfortunately, there is currently no non-animal alternative available that meets the essential criterion for the Queen’s Guards ceremonial caps.”

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