Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Humane Society International Says It Doesn't Oppose Inuit Subsistence Sealing

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Humane Society International Says It Doesn't Oppose Inuit Subsistence Sealing

Article excerpt

Humane society clarifies position on Inuit sealing

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MONTREAL - A spokeswoman for the Canadian arm of the Humane Society International is clarifying the group's position on the Inuit seal hunt, as a protest against TV star Ellen DeGeneres in the North gains support.

Rebecca Aldworth says recent reports on the protests are mixing up subsistence sealing in Canada's North with the commercial hunt.

She says animal protection groups oppose commercial sealing in Atlantic Canada by non-aboriginal people.

Inuit in Nunavut have been engaged in a "sealfie" movement ever since DeGeneres took a celebrity selfie at the Oscars last month.

DeGeneres donated $1.5 million of the money raised by the star-studded picture to the Humane Society of the United States, an organization that fights seal hunting.

In response, Inuit are using social media to post pictures of themselves wearing sealskin clothes, standing beside freshly killed seals or looking forward to enjoying a seal meal.

"Commercial sealing advocates have long attempted to blur the lines between their globally condemned industry and the socially accepted Inuit subsistence hunt," Aldworth said in a statement Tuesday.

"Unlike Inuit sealers, commercial sealers almost exclusively target baby seals who are less than three months old. …

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