Film Snares (In)Humane Society Of The United States

Spring is in the air in Canada, which means the wealthy Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is once again gearing up to hassle our neighbor to the north. HSUS has long used Canada’s annual seal hunt — essentially the culling of an overpopulated species by subsistence hunters — as a fundraising platform. Last year it even dreamed up a phony U.S. “boycott” of Canadian seafood (which we systematically debunked) in order to vent its frustration northward. But this time around might not be smooth sailing for the giant animal rights group and its cohorts.

Last year HSUS’s campaign included a series of high-profile photo shoots with the likes of Paul McCartney and his (then) wife. And — of course — the filming of a fundraising video. But unbeknownst to HSUS, someone else’s camera was also rolling. As The Ottawa Citizen describes it, Quebec filmmaker Raoul Jomphe filmed HSUS activists “ignoring a dying seal for more than an hour … the animal rights activists pulled the dying seal out of the water as it tried to escape, and continued filming their promotional video.”

Jomphe told the Citizen that HSUS seal-hunt campaign leader Rebecca Aldworth “was really mad at me” after the film’s first screening this week. So mad, it seems, that HSUS is now considering legal action to stop the film from being widely shown. But the filmmaker is standing by his work, telling CanWest News Service: “When they [HSUS] take images of hunters, they do editing, and that’s what we see … and suddenly she’s all offended that she’s being filmed in that way.

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