Hundreds of protesters have demonstrated outside European Union headquarters in Brussels, demanding a total ban on imports of seal products.

Animal rights groups are pressuring EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas to quickly issue rules banning the sale of products made from seals that have been inhumanely killed.  

However, many of the activists insist that it is impossible to guarantee that killing of seals is carried out in a humane manner. Instead they are calling for a total ban on use of seal products.

The demonstrators are also seeking a total ban on seal hunting in Canada, Russia, Finland and Greenland.

Canada has the world's largest commercial seal hunt, an occasion often marked by confrontations between animal rights protesters and hunters.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.