Yulin: A city in southern China went ahead with an annual dog-meat eating festival yesterday despite heavy criticism and protests from animal rights activists.
A group of Chinese and international animal activists had also presented a petition signed by 11 million people to stop the festival, but it failed to work
Vendors slaughtered dogs and cooked their meat in dozens of restaurants across the city of Yulin, in an event that has come to symbolize the cruelty and potential for spreading disease associated with the largely unregulated industry.
An estimated 10 million to 20 million dogs are killed for their meat each year in China, and the Yulin event has become a lightning rod for criticism. Many of the dogs are believed to have been pets stolen from their owners or simply picked up off the street. They are stuffed in cages, and trucked to the city often without food or water. Cats eaten at the festival are subjected to similar ill treatment.
The local government has in recent years sought to disassociate itself from the event, forbidding its employees from attending and limiting its size by shutting down some dog markets and slaughter houses.