Humane Society respond to sealfies, says it supports Inuit hunt

Taha Tabish, who uses the Twitter handle @taabai, posted this sealfie with the words:

Taha Tabish, who uses the Twitter handle @taabai, posted this sealfie with the words: "Hey, @TheEllenShow, I support the sustainable harvesting of seal. #sealfie #mitts." (Handout)

Sheena Goodyear, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

The Canadian branch of the Humane Society has issued a statement reasserting its support of the Inuit seal hunt in response to the online "sealfie" movement.

"We have never opposed the Inuit subsistence seal hunt that occurs in Canada's North. Animal protection groups oppose the commercial seal slaughter, which occurs in Atlantic Canada and is almost entirely conducted by non-aboriginal people," the organization said.

But Inuit filmmaker and activist Alethea Arnaquq-Baril said the Humane Society only claims to support the Inuit seal hunt so it doesn’t lose donations.

“Hungry Inuit children be damned, the animal rights industry will get their donations,” she told QMI Agency via Twitter.

Sealfies — self-portraits of people decked out in sealskin clothes — are part of an Inuit-led movement to protest Ellen DeGeneres' use of a celebrity-packed selfie to raise $1.5 million for the Humane Society of the U.S. which campaigns annually against the seal hunt.

Canada's Inuit have used the campaign to defend their seal hunt as ethical, cultural, sustainable and necessary in an area plagued by hunger and soaring food prices.

But the Humane Society says it's only against the East Coast commercial hunt, which is much larger and focuses on pelts, not meat.


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