A leading charity has written to Games Workshop, the manufacturers of Warhammer, asking them to ban 'fur' clothes from all models featured in their fantasy battle games.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation (PETA) has previously worked to expose animal cruelty inside the film and television industry.

In a letter dated 30 January to Games Workshop CEO Kevin Rountree, PETA criticised the firm's decision to dress characters in animal skin garments.

It read: "These battle-hardened warriors are known for their martial prowess – but wearing the skins of dead animals doesn't take any skill."

It is estimated that more than one billion rabbits, two million cats and hundreds of thousands of dogs are killed each year for their fur. They are often electrocuted anally so as not to stain their valuable fur, which can then be used to make clothes.

PETA's letter said: "While we appreciate that these are fictional characters, draping them in what looks to be a replica of a dead animal sends the message that wearing fur is acceptable – when, in fact, it has no more place in 2017 than it would in the year 40,000."

It is understood that Games Workshop have not yet replied to the letter despite being explicitly invited to do so. Games Workshop did not respond to IBTimes UK's request for comment.

The Nottingham-based company was founded in 1975 and now operates across the world. They are most famous for producing table-top armies that are hand-painted by collectors and then used to play the complex fantasy games Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000.

Mimi Bekhechi, director of international programmes at PETA, said: "In the real world, every single fur coat, cuff, or collar is taken from living beings who feel pain and fear as acutely as any human – and spend their short lives scared out of their wits, crammed inside filthy cages, and denied everything that would make their lives worth living.

"Some animals – especially mothers who have babies back in their dens – have been known to try to chew through their own limbs in a desperate attempt to escape... Anyone with an ounce of empathy, ethics, or intelligence agrees that killing animals for their fur is totally unjustifiable."