PETA has targeted the Royal Family in the UK for selling a Christmas teddy bears made from mohair. The animal rights group has written to Prince Charles asking him to withdraw the £125 “unethical” teddies from the royal website and shops.
Marketed as Baby’s First Christmas Bear, it is made from South African mohair and produced by Merrythought, the last remaining British teddy-making company.
Mohair has recently come under fire for the way the hair is removed from angora goats, with critics warning it causes animals distress, no matter how they are reared.
But a spokesman for the Royal family denied claims the mohair had been unethically sourced.
A spokesman for the Royal Collection Trust said: “The Royal Collection Trust is confident that Merrythought, the suppliers of the mohair teddy bears sold in our shops and online, source mohair from organizations that meet the animal welfare standards set out in the sustainability guidelines of Mohair South Africa.”
Mimi Bekhechi, PETA’s director of international programs, said: “Compassionate parents should never let these cruelly produced ‘toys’ anywhere near their own kids.”
There is no suggestion the royal teddy was sourced from a farm that is cruel. However, PETA has claimed there is no ethical way to source mohair and it should be dropped from UK stores.
Earlier this year high street brands such as Topshop, H&M, and Zara announced they would be banning mohair from their clothing, starting from spring 2019.
Sales of the bear benefit the Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity that sells merchandise to raise money to maintain the Royal Family’s artworks.