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Victory! The HSUS Applauds Greenland For Ending All Imports of Canadian Sealskins

WASHINGTON (January 6, 2005) - The Humane Society of the United States and its international arm Humane Society International/Canada today congratulated the Greenland government for choosing to eliminate all purchases of Canadian sealskins through its sealskin trader and tannery, Great Greenland. The decision, announced today to the Greenland and Danish media, will be a significant move forward in the campaign to end Canada’s cruel commercial seal hunt.
Yesterday, footage obtained by The Humane Society of the United States at the 2005 Canadian commercial seal hunt was aired on DR - the leading Danish television station, sparking a massive public outcry in Denmark. Today, the Danish Minister of Justice said on national news that she had been disturbed by the footage, and a few hours later a letter from the Greenland government announced the decision to stop the sealskins imports from Canada. Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark but with a self rule since 1978.

Thor Hjarsen, a renowned Danish conservation biologist and Arctic expert, became aware of the sealskin imports recently. He contacted The HSUS and other sources for information about Canada’s commercial seal hunt, and then alerted the Danish media to the situation.

“As a Canadian who has observed the commercial seal hunt at close range for seven years, I applaud the government of Greenland for taking this courageous stand after learning how the seals are killed in Canada,? stated Rebecca Aldworth, director of Canadian wildlife issues for The Humane Society of the United States. “There is no thinking, compassionate person who could ever tolerate the cruelty in the Canadian seal hunt if they could see it for themselves.?

The Greenland government took the decision to ensure the aboriginal Greenland hunt is not connected to the internationally condemned Canadian commercial seal hunt. Notably, today, in a comment to the Danish newspaper Politiken, Mr. Aqqaluk Lynge, Chairman of Inuit Circumpolar Conference, stated, “In contradiction to the Inuit hunters the Newfoundlanders use nature as a slaughterhouse.?

Over the past two years, Canada has exported more than 90,000 sealskins to Greenland. Many Danish citizens purchase sealskin garments believing they are supporting the Greenland Inuit sealers by doing so. But today, well over one third of all the sealskins on the Greenland market originate in Canada.

The decision will help put an end to Canada’s cruel commercial seal hunt, in which hundreds of thousands of baby seals are clubbed and shot to death for their fur each year. In Canada, sealing is an off-season activity conducted by non aboriginal commercial fishermen, who make less than five percent of their annual incomes from the practice.

CONTACT: Tracey McIntire, 301-548-7793, tmcintire (at)

The Humane Society of the United States is the world’s largest animal protection organization representing more than 9.5 million members and constituents. The non-profit organization is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, disaster preparedness and response, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy, and field work. The group is based in Washington and has numerous field representatives across the country.

The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L St., NW
Washington, DC 20037
Promoting the Protection of All Animals


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