The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have defied animal rights activists by ordering muskrat fur hats.
Activists have tried to encourage the famous Mounties to choose a fake-fur option.
But the legendary police force said it wanted to protect the Canadian fur trade by placing a big order.
Canada’s national police have now requested 4,470 new hats made of extra-large muskrat skins, which would take approximately 12,000 muskrats to produce.
Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Environment Minister, said: “I would like to assure Canadians that the historic fur winter hats worn by the RCMP will not be discontinued despite the efforts of the radical animal rights activists.”
Her views were supported by Alan Herscovi, a spokesman for the Fur Council of Canada.
He said that in 2016, Canada’s rural trappers made $1.7 million from harvesting around 315,000 muskrats.
He added: “It’s nice to see that recognition of Canadian heritage. The fur trade is part of Canada’s history, of course, and still makes a lot of sense today because it is a natural, biodegradable, renewable resource.
“Trappers in Canada have to take training courses to learn how to use the new humane trapping methods before they get their trapping licences, and it is extremely well-regulated by the provincial and territorial wildlife departments.”
Animal rights organisation Fur Bearers has been lobbying the force to ditch the muskrat hats, and the group had been making progress — until 2014.
In 2014, the Mounties tried to phase out fur replacing it with a wool alternative, but were ordered by the government to buy the muskrat hats instead, to protect the vital fur trade in the provinces.