London, May 10 (ANI): Canada's new opposition leader Michael Ignatieff has denounced European animal right activists including Sir Paul McCartney for their hostility to seal hunting.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Ignatieff hit out at last week's vote by the European Parliament to ban the sale of seal products.
The former left-wing British television host was elected leader of Canada's Liberal Party on May 3.
"We look at the culling of deer in Scotland and wolves in Europe by farmers and find it very frustrating to see this reaction to a carefully regulated and managed cull here, which is an economic mainstay of some of the poorest communities in Canada," he said.
"Europe's inability or refusal to see the seal cull for what is smacks of hypocrisy and misunderstanding.
"Paul McCartney, I love your music - but leave the seals to the people who know them. This is not marginal to us, this is very important," he added.
The EU ban, which was passed by 550 votes to 49, came after a long battle against seal clubbing backed by campaigners such as Sir Paul McCartney, who called it a "trade in animal cruelty".
Sir Paul and his then wife Heather visited ice floes in the Canadian Arctic in 2006 to campaign against the heartbreaking commercial hunt of harp seals, which they said was a stain on Canada's character. (ANI)