Singer Imelda May is calling for an end to fur farming in Ireland.
The Dublin-born mother of one has directly appealed to Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney to introduce a ban on the industry here, a move that would bring the country into line with the UK, Austria and Switzerland. There are currently five remaining mink farms in the Republic.
"Fur farming is a shameful, cruel industry that simply has no place in modern Ireland," 39-year-old May wrote in a letter to Mr Coveney.
"Almost a quarter-million minks are condemned to a life of suffering on Irish fur farms," said the star, who last year gave birth to her first child, Violet, with husband Darrel Higham.
Her letter continues: "This barbaric cruelty is unacceptable in a civilised, progressive country. Ireland needs to stop dragging its feet. Regulating the industry is not enough – please make Irish people proud and enact an immediate ban."
According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), banning operations in Ireland would save up to 225,000 mink every year from slaughter.
"The Irish Government has shown itself to be out of touch by failing to relegate the five remaining Irish mink farms to the history books," PETA spokesperson Ben Williamson told the Irish Independent.
"Imelda represents the views of the majority of Irish people . . . and we hope that her involvement in this campaign will cause the Government to sit up and pay attention."
The Department of Agriculture did not respond to requests for comment when contacted.