The annual Yulin Summer Solstice Dog Eating Festival took place on June 21 in Guangxi Province, and for all the controversy it has attracted from media and protesters, it has also attracted two foreigners who were photographed emerging from a restaurant that serves dog meat, reported Caijing.
Though no photographs have shown them dining on canine, photographs show the couple, a man and a woman, surrounded by a crowd that cheer for them as they walk away from the restaurant.
Despite having attracted so many people, including these foreigners, the Yulin dog eating festival has been hit by a steep decline in sales, contrary to the claims of a local restaurant. According to Beijing News, only 2,000 dogs were consumed at the 48 participating restaurants at this year’s festival, down from an estimated 10,000 dogs two years ago.
Cheng Taotao, the Department Head of the Yulin Municipal Food and Drug Administration, confirms the decline in sales. He said as of June 16, only 30% of restaurants that had served dogs last year are doing so again this year. Of Yulin’s 1,395 restaurants, 17 have voluntarily stopped serving dog meat while four have been closed, reports Xinhua. Furthermore, quarantine inspections stopped two vehicles carrying 2,000 dogs and prevented them from being put on the market.
Cheng cites the controversy for hurting sales, and also inflaming tensions between animal rights activists and dog eaters.
On the evening of June 21 at around 8pm, an altercation between the two sides turned violent after a Yulin resident that supports eating dog was struck in the mouth on Jiangbin Road. An eyewitness named Lu said the strike was strong enough to draw blood. Police came to separate both factions until crowds finally dispersed at 10:50pm.
Local residents remain defiant, despite being under the glare of the international media. Banners (seen above) read:
Thank you for allowing our countrymen to witness the spirit of unity here in Yulin.
As much as we love to promulgate the culture of eating lychees and dog meat, we love obeying the law even more.
The eating of dogs is not illegal in China.
While strong convictions may have lead to violence in some, others are dealing with their concerns in a different way. Yang Xiaoyun, who was earlier seen begging on her knees to save a dog, is now reported to have spent RMB 70,000 to rescue 200 dogs.
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