HE'S got a licence to kill - but it doesn't extend to birds.

The pioneering York-based campaign to ban foie gras has received top level backing - from none other than James Bond.

Former 007 Roger Moore has backed City of York councillor Paul Blanchard's drive to outlaw the sale of the controversial French delicacy.

Mr Moore has narrated a video on Coun Blanchard's campaign website, which is supporting his online petition.

As previously reported in The Press, Coun Blanchard wanted York to follow Chicago's lead and ban the sale of foie gras in the city's shops and restaurants.

The council deferred the issue, for officers to consider legal issues and prepare a report.

In the meantime, Coun Blanchard has launched a petition, which has already attracted 4,000 signatures.

The campaign has also now been backed by the RSPCA, Compassion In World Farming, People For Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Animal Aid and Uncaged.

Foie gras is the liver of force-fed geese or ducks, and its production is opposed by many animal rights groups.

Dr Marc Cooper, RSPCA senior scientific officer, said: "This is a cruel practice and undoubtedly results in unnecessary suffering. We would encourage any food retailers and restaurants that are currently selling foie gras to seriously reconsider their support for this cruel practice."

Andre Menache, of AnimalAid, said: "As a veterinary surgeon who has witnessed first-hand the suffering caused by force feeding of geese, I sincerely applaud Paul Blanchard's initiative."

Dr Dan Lyons, director of Uncaged, said: "The production of foie gras is one of the most sickening of humanity's abuses of our fellow creatures."

Coun Blanchard said: "It's not as if I am trying to ban steak or chicken here - foie gras is simply a step too far, it's the product of torture. I'm hoping those yet to be convinced will visit the website, see the evidence, and make their own mind up. The birds feel great pain to make this delicacy, and it should have no place in a civilised society."

The campaign website is at www.stopbirdtorture.com Coun Blanchard said: "If anyone is in doubt as to whether it's cruel or not should visit the website and see for themselves. There are videos showing the production of it which will make you sick."