Dubbed the 'festival of horror', the annual Lychee and Dog Meat Festival in Yulin, China is underway once more and it's causing a lot of distress to animal lovers the world over.
2018 Yulin Dog Meat Festival
Each year during the summer solstice, thousands of people in Yulin, China gather to eat lychees and dog meat as part of the annual Lychee and Dog Meat Festival. Cat meat can also be found on the menu.
According to figures, approximately 10,000-15,000 dogs were once consumed during the 10-day festival that began in 2009.
This number has been since been declining as NGOs and animal rights campaigners push hard to have the event banned.
According to Animals Asia Foundation, a Hong Kong-based charity fighting to end animal cruelty in Asia, the number of dogs killed each year for their meat in China is around 10 million.
With the event officially commencing tomorrow, 21 June, campaigners, activists and the media-alike have been drawing heavy focus to the treatment of the dogs.
Graphic footage was released just yesterday by the Humane Society International after undercover activists used their mobile phones to record scenes at a slaughterhouse.
In it, dogs were slaughtered in front of dozens of other dogs awaiting the same fate, while others were boiled alive or torched.
"What I saw will haunt me for months, I have never seen dogs so scared like these ones," said Allen, one of the undercover activists.
"Most of them were small sized dogs, typical pet dogs, and they were terrified because they had seen the killing of probably 50 dogs that morning."
It is a combination of both horrific scenes and sounds they will probably never forget.
"The noise of that slaughterhouse stuck in our brain long after we’d left — the wailing of the dogs, the roar of the blow-torch, the thundering of the de-hairing machine while dogs huddled together in fear," Allen added.
Not just dogs
The Yulin Lychee and Dog Festival has ignited further debate about other similar atrocities when it comes to the handling and slaughtering of livestock.
Australia has long participated in the live export of sheep, cows and lambs, among others, while global chicken farming practices have come under intense pressure. It extends further.
Sadly, cruel handling and slaughtering practices continue worldwide despite heavy campaigning.