06/21/2017, 17.32
CHINA
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Yulin Dog Meat Festival opens with more visitors

Until recently, it appeared that the local government was going to ban the event. Although “subdued” with vendors allowed to put only two dogs on display, this year’s edition is drawing more visitors, thanks to the greater visibility generated by animal rights activists. Some 10-20 million dogs are butchered every year. For one local, “eating dog is just like eating fish and chicken."

Yulin (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The famous Yulin Dog Meat Festival opened today in Guangxi province. Every year, it draws thousands of people, dog breeders, as well as chefs and dog meat aficionados.

For several years, animal rights activists have sought to have the event cancelled, accusing merchants and breeders of mistreating the animals.

Recently, local authorities promised even to ban the Festival, but then reached a compromise with vendors, namely a limit of two dogs on display per stall.

Although there are fewer stalls than last year, everything looks like other years. In fact, according to vendors the number of visitors is up thanks to animal rights activists whose criticism has made dog meat more fashionable and more visitors want to taste it.

Still, according to the Global Times, this year’s festival is more "subdued". Vendors have covered up the Chinese character for dog, some with yellow paper. In most cases, dogs are slaughtered outside the city rather than in the streets.

Dog meat consumption is not illegal in China. According to the Humane Society International, between 10 and 20 million dogs are killed for food annually, and business goes up during the festival about nine-fold.

The meat itself can be cooked in many ways: boiled, sautéed, fried, cooked with vegetables or in broth.

At the festival, people can also taste other sorts of meat, like cow tongues and pork hock and trotters.

"Eating dog meat is a long-standing tradition in Yulin, and to us, eating dog is just like eating fish and chicken. Have you seen chicken lovers trying to stop people from eating chicken?" one local resident is quoted as saying.

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