Humane Society to honor 'Top Model' judge

Nigel Barker praised for efforts to end Canadian seal hunt

Nigel Barker, photographer and judge on CW's "America's Next Top Model," will be honored at the 23rd Genesis Awards, to be held March 28 at the Beverly Hilton, for his efforts to end the Canadian seal hunt.

In 2008, Barker joined the Humane Society of the United States; ProtectSeals team in Canada days before the hunt was set to begin and again during the seal kill. He chronicled his trip to the ice floes through photographs and a documentary film, which provided a look at the lives of baby harp seals targeted by the annual kill. Through his exhibit that has traveled to several states, Barker hopes to educate the public about the seal hunt.

"Nigel Barker was not satisfied with just lending his name and celebrity to the Humane Society of the United States' ProtectSeals campaign," HSUS senior vp wildlife John Grandy said. "His commitment to ending the slaughter is so deep that he has spent the past year speaking out in every way possible about his experiences on the ice floes. The exhibit of Barker's photographs from the seal nursery exquisitely captures the beauty and innocence of being on the ice with these gentle animals. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to acknowledge him and his efforts at one of our elite events."

The HSUS' Genesis Awards honor the news and entertainment media for showcasing animal issues. This year's event, dedicated to ending the Canadian seal hunt, will feature Barker's photos on the official invitation and will highlight the photographs during the evening.