Thousands of dogs, cats slaughtered during annual Chinese festival (VIDEO)
The festival saw hundreds of meat traders come to the country’s southern Guangxi province to celebrate the summer solstice.
Queues were stretching outside 300-seat eateries such as the Yulin No. 1 Crispy Dog Meat restaurant, which sells the newly slaughtered animals for $6 a kilogram, The Independent reported.
Earlier, about 500,000 people signed a petition to end the festival, and hundreds of thousands of tweets were posted with the #StopYulin2015 hashtag.
On Sunday, protesters blocked the streets, raided slaughterhouses, and bought the animals set to be slaughtered.
One of the demonstrators, Peter Li from the Humane Society China group, told The Telegraph that he witnessed that traders “were blow-torching the carcasses to make them shiny and ready for shipment to restaurants”.
"There were some dogs still alive in wire cages, but they looked exhausted, emaciated and dirty,” he added.
Another protester, 65-year-old Chinese woman Yang Xiaoyun, paid about $1100 to save 100 dogs.
Last year, the local authorities promised to prohibit the event and the use of words “dog meat”.
Killing cats and dogs isn’t against the law in China, but the majority of animals are strays, so the authorities have repeatedly warned the population about potential health risks.
In March, Li Jun Qing, head of Yulin's Food And Drug Administration, stated that the event had not been supported by the government – however, the festival went on as planned.
In 2014, 10,000 dogs and 4,000 cats were slaughtered during the festival, according to the official estimates.
The festival was started in 2009-2010 by the country’s meat traders.