Amid widespread domestic and international opposition, Yulin’s dog meat festival has begun in Southern China.
About ten thousand dogs and cats are expected to be killed and eaten during its 10-day controversial festival in Yulin.
The event is cruel, say activists, and about 11 million signatures were collected calling for petition for it to be banned this year.
The local government says that the event does not have official backing but has have been staged by private businesses.
DOG MEAT FESTIVAL
Eating dog meat festival is a tradition dates back some 500 years in China, South Korea and other countries, where many believe it turned off the heat in summer months.
Yulin’s residents and vendors says the animals are killed in a humane way but some critics said they’ve been killed brutally and publicly beaten to death or cooked while still alive.
Ahead of the festival, dogs often kept in small cramped cages where it shows animals wearing collars, stated that they were stolen pets.
According to campaign group Stop Yulin Forever, dogs were abandoned with food and water for days during their trip.
With estimated 10 million dogs killed for human consumption each year, selling dog meat for human consumption is legal in China. Yulin festival were a source of pride for many locals and many restaurants serving dog dishes and people travelling to the city are joining in, but it attracts widespread criticism each year.
A total poll of 64% people aged 16-50 showed support for permanent end to the festival, stated by news agency Xinhua.
It also shows that another 51.7% including Yulin residents, wanted to complete banned the festival and 69.5% claiming they’ve never eaten dog meat.
“It’s embarrassing to us that the world wrongly believes that the brutally cruel Yulin festival is part of Chinese culture,” said Qin Xiaona, director of the Capital Animal Welfare Association charity.
“It’s shocking to think that if we had not been there, all these animals would have been beaten to death and eaten,” said Peter Li, HSI’s China policy specialist.
Majority of netizens on China’s Sina Weibo social network have voiced disapproval, with one user saying that his dog was a “family”, not food.