Beatles legend Paul McCartney, who is the latest celebrity to join the anti-whaling campaign, has appealed to the Norwegian government not to lift a ban on commercial hunting.

‘X Factor’ star Leona Lewis has already teamed up with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) to plead with officials in the country not to back a proposal which would effectively allow the slaughter of up to 1,400 whales next year, Contactmusic reported.

And now McCartney has supported the drive, calling on the Norwegian government to “protect” the sea-faring mammals.

“It’s time to end the cruel slaughter of whales and leave these magnificent creatures alone. In the 21st century how can we even contemplate killing whales - or any animal - in such barbaric ways?” said the 68-year-old musician.

“Governments should act on their responsibilities and protect these beautiful creatures. The best future for our relationship with whales is watching, not hunting,” he added.