Animal rights advocate Sir Paul McCartney has called on the European Parliament to implement a ban on the sale of all seal products - branding it a "trade in animal cruelty".
The Beatle legend has added his name to a growing petition urging the Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to make the trading of goods made from seals illegal, in order to stop hunters from brutally beating the creatures for their meat and skin.
In a statement, MCCartney says, "The fate of millions of seal pups is in the hands of elected members of the European Parliament.
"In the next few weeks they will have a historic opportunity to stop the cruel trade in seal products throughout the European Union."
MEPs will vote on a complete ban in Strasbourg next week (begs26Apr09).
MCCartney's call mirrors that of fellow animal lover Pamela Anderson, who recently wrote a personal plea to Russian leader Vladimir Putin to ask the politician to help her ban the slaughter of baby seals in her native Canada - where hunters will be allowed to kill approximately 338,200 seals this year (09).