§ Mr. Jenkins
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many bearskins the Army has purchased in each of the last five years; and whether these bears are(a) killed in the wild and (b) farmed for their skins. 
§ Mr. Ingram
A total of 694 bearskin caps have been procured over the last five years.
Calendar year Caps procured 1998 54 1999 166 2000 232 2001 63 2002 179 Total 694
The pelts used in the manufacture of bearskin caps are purchased through a licensed agent and imported under licence from Canada. We understand from manufacturers that the pelts are supplied from bears hunted as part of the quotas established under the Canadian Provinces' conservation plans.
One bear pelt can make on average between one and two caps. A cap refurbishment programme has been in place since 2001 with the aim of reducing the requirement for new caps to a minimum. A total of 430 caps have been refurbished since this programme began.