Unidentified men forcibly dispersed activists opposing China’s Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, on 22 June. Around 10,000 dogs will be slaughtered for their meat, at Yulin, in Guangxi province. Around 10 activists unfurled banners reading outside Yulin , before a group of 20 men chased them off.
An online campaign to ban the festival has been signed by more than 3.8 million people, so far.
The city holds an annual festival on summer solstice devoted to the consumption of dog meat, in defiance of a backlash from the activists.
The protestors held signs ‘crackdown on illegal dog meat trade’ and ‘punish illegal dog transport’ before they were torn by the unidentified men. The slogans are an attempt to appeal to local government officials to enforce existing laws, on health and administrative grounds.
The majority of “meat dogs” in China are stolen pets and strays, according to a probe published this month, by Hong Kong based, Animals Asia, though, consuming dog meat is unusual in most parts of China.
In another part of Yulin, traders openly sold dogs off the back of scooters, as hundreds gathered at a market. Many dogs were kept in tightly packed cages.
Activists have in the past travelled to the city to hold demonstrations, sometimes buying dogs to save them from the cooking pots.
One animal lover, Yang Xiaoyun, reportedly paid 7,000 yuan (US$1,100) to save 100 dogs in Yulin, on 20 June.
Meanwhile, the tradition of eating dog meat dates back to 400 or 500 years, in China, South Korea and other countries, according to state news agency, Xinhua. The consumption of dog meat generates a lot of negative foreign media reports, embarrassing the government, and putting it in a difficult position