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>> Each year, this city in Southern China courts global controversy with a celebration. This is Yulin's so-called Lychee and Dog Meat Festival. Eating dog is a tradition in some parts of China, but this festival's increasingly become a lightning rod for animal rights activists. Who say dog meat is both inhumane and unhygienic.
>> I think it's a social evil to treat our loyal friend and companion animal like this, no matter where it is.>> Some local residents defend the festival, saying it's a good excuse to catch up and get together.>> I think popular customs themselves cannot be right or wrong, some media or so-called dog lovers come to Yulin and have conflict with local people.
>> Reuters' Joyce Zhou traveled to Yulin for the festival and said that local authorities were on the look out.>> The main thing for the festival this year seems to be the maintaining stability. With heavy police guarding the city and a few activists actually coming into the town.
Local people and dog meat vendors are super cautious about the city image being presented about outsiders and media.>> Activists point to videos of dogs being mistreated and kept in cages and say that the Dog Meat Festival's maintained by dog traders to keep up business. In recent years, they've raided dog slaughterhouses.
And intercepted truckloads of dogs. Yulin authorities say the festival's not officially sanctioned, but that increased vigilance this year did keep the numbers of activists in town down.