Former BEATLE Sir Paul McCartney and his wife Heather Mills McCARTNEY will travel to Canada this week (begs28FEB06) to plead with city officials in Ottawa to end their annual seal hunt.

The couple will observe the seal pups before the annual hunt opens, according to the Humane Society Of The United States.

The McCartneys are both longtime animal rights activists and will head out to the frigid ice floes off the Gulf Of St Lawrence to bring attention to the pups' plight.

According to the Humane Society's director of Canadian wildlife issues, REBECCA ALDWORTH, "Heather and Paul's visit to the seal pups will shine a global media spotlight on this cruel and needless slaughter."

The exact timing of this year's hunt has not been confirmed, but it generally runs from mid-March through to mid-April, but the unseasonably mild winter has put the hunt date on hold.