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This video shows the moment 10 dogs were rescued from a Chinese market in Yulin, ahead of the city's annual dog meat festival - despite the government announcing that dogs are companions rather than livestock:
Now activists are urging local authorities to embrace the national declaration - that dogs aren't food - by halting the dog meat festival which is due to take place from 21 June (Sunday).
According to the Humane Society International, campaigners rescued 10 'friendly and innocent' puppies that were to be sold for meat at a market outside Yulin. Traders could also be seen chopping up dog carcasses.
It's been reported that the dog meat stalls and shops that were once scattered around the city have now been consolidated into one central area - the Nanchao market on the outskirts of Yulin.
Dr Peter Li, China policy specialist for Humane Society International, said: "The Yulin authorities may want to keep a closer eye on all the dog meat trade activity by centralising it more or less at one market, possibly because of the increasingly controversial nature of the dog meat business.
"While some traders told the activists they were doing as much business as possible to make up for lack of sales from January to March due to the coronavirus, others reported that it is now harder to acquire live dogs from outside Guangxi province due to the government's crackdown on trans-provincial animal transport.
"Instead of the huge slaughter trucks of previous years bringing in thousands of dogs at a time, they say it is more common now to see small truckloads of mostly locally sourced dogs from nearby towns."
He went on: "Momentum is building in China to tackle the dog and cat meat trades, and while I don't think anyone expects Yulin's dog meat trade to close up overnight, what the activists witnessed could indicate that things are shifting even in Yulin.
"The cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai have hopefully started a trend by banning dog and cat meat, and the declaration by the national government that dogs are considered companions rather than livestock, provides a compelling incentive for other cities to follow suit.
"I do hope Yulin will change not only for the sake of the animals, but also for the health and safety of its people. With new cases of Covid-19 tied to a Beijing market, allowing mass gatherings to trade in and consume dog meat in crowded markets and restaurants in the name of a festival poses a significant public health risk."
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