Thousands of farmers are protesting in Brussels to demand European Union action to counter the slumping prices they get for milk and pork.

From across the 28-nation EU, farmers converged on EU headquarters, arriving on hundreds of tractors and snarling traffic during morning rush hour in the capital and on some highways leading into Brussels.

With the relentless blowing of horns, they showed their anger over high taxes and falling prices that have been exacerbated since the opening up of the milk market early this year.

EU agriculture ministers are meeting in an extraordinary session to assess the crisis and look for measures to back their farmers. Some farmers have called for a reintroduction of quotas or more direct aid from their governments to pay the bills.