The European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted to strengthen a ban on the trade in seal products because they argue that the hunt on the pups is inhumane.

With Tuesday's 631-31 vote in favor with 33 abstentions the restrictions would be increased on the exemptions Inuits currently enjoy, with tougher conditions to respect animal welfare.

Indigenous people in Canada have argued their livelihoods depend on their ability to hunt seals and sell their products, fundamentally impacting their way of life.

Joanna Swabe of the Humane Society International said that "Europe's citizens have made it quite clear that we don't want to buy fur and other products from hideously cruel seal slaughters."

The revised ban, which seeks to meet World Trade Organization demands, still needs approval from EU nations.