China dog meat festival targeted by activists

Animal activists load a cage holding dogs which they just bought from vendors to stop them from being eaten. Credit: Reuters\Stringer

Animal activists and locals have clashed in China over a food festival in in the southwestern region of Guangxi, where the main ingredient is an animal most people are used to seeing under the table rather than on it: Dog.

Dead dogs are on sale at a stall, ahead of the dog meat festival in Yulin. Credit: Reuters

Protesters have been gathering for weeks in the city of Yulin to try and disrupt the food festival but they have been met with fierce resistance from locals and food vendors, where dog meat is traditionally eaten around the summer solstice.

Dog meat stew on sale during the festival. Credit: Reuters

Residents of the city partaking in the 600-year-old custom buy live dogs on the morning of the solstice, then gather for dinner to eat the meat in the evening.

Some activists tried to buy as many dogs as they could afford to prevent the animals from ending up in a cooking pot.

A woman kneels down as she attempts to buy a dog to prevent it being sold as meat. Credit: Reuters
Butchered dog meat for sale. Credit: Reuters

Photographs from previous festivals showing dogs packed into cages and locals feasting on their meat from steaming pots have circulated on social media, sparking outrage across the globe.

According to animal rights groups, many of the dogs netted for the festivals are strays and stolen pets, drugged or poisoned before being kept in ghastly conditions in pens and then later prepared for consumption.