OTTAWA, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Canada's military is reverting to issuing real fur winter hats to soldiers, replacing synthetic tuques for winter use, the Department of Defense announced.
An initial order for 1,000 of the new "Yukon" hats with muskrat fur has been placed at a cost of $65,000, the Globe and Mail reported.
As late as the 1990s, female soldiers were issued winter hats made from mink and the ceremonial guard in Ottawa still wear the tall bearskin hats known as a "busby" by their British counterparts in London.
Defense spokeswoman Josee Hunter told the newspaper "the uniforms worn by the Canadian Forces are a reflection of Canada's proud heritage," although animal rights activists had a different take on heritage.
Lesley Fox of the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals said she was surprised by the government's decision.
"With fur being such a controversial issue, this is a very surprising move," she said. "When we think of Canada, we think of celebrating wildlife, not wearing it.