Rhys Ifans has spoken out on the slaughter of seals for their fur, calling it ''inhumane.''

The 'Amazing Spider Man' actor branded the killing of the marine mammals for their skins as ''an off-season cash grab'' for the Canadian fishing industry in a letter urging the Appellate Body of World Trade Organisation (WTO) to maintain the organisation's decision to uphold the European Union's ban against the practice ahead of their meeting in Geneva on March 17.

An extract from a signed letter written by Rhys on behalf of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) reads: ''EU nations have made it clear that they want no part in the seal slaughter, which is merely an off-season cash grab for the Canadian fishing industry and accounts for less than 1 per cent of Newfoundland's economy. Since Canada is challenging the EU ban merely for political reasons back home, I hope the Appellate Body will uphold it.''

The letter comes just two weeks before Canada's annual seal hunt, a practice dating back centuries which sees seals slaughtered, officially in a bid to prevent fisheries damages, however young seals are coveted for their fur.

The EU, Mexico, Taiwan and the US have now banned seal fur imports, as have Russia , who were responsible for importing 95 percent of Canada's seal fur.

The Canadian government have been arguing against the EU ban to revive the trade but officials are being forced to examine whether the practices should be put to rest.