The Yulin “Lychee and Dog Meat” festival began Wednesday, despite reports earlier this year that selling dog meat had been banned by the Chinese city.
BBC News reported that there was heavy security on the streets this year, after numerous altercations between activists and street vendors at past events.
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About 10,000 animals, including dogs and cats, are killed during the 10-day event, The Independent reported.
The city’s event has been criticized around the world, particularly by animal advocates who say the canines are treated inhumanely. According to The Independent, dogs are kept in cramped areas and there have even been claims some are stolen pets.
Despite the yearly protests and petitions over the event, dog meat is not illegal in China. In fact, eating dog meat is considered beneficial during summer months, according to BBC News. But it is a specialty meat and is rarely seen at markets or in restaurants.
According to a recent survey by the Shanghaist, many people in China think the dog meat festival should be banned.
The news outlet reported that 64 per cent of people between age 16 and 50, want to see an end to the event, saying it has harmed the country’s reputation. Nearly 70 per cent of respondents said they had never eaten dog meat.