Beijing: Well, it seems like the Chinese don’t like to learn from their mistakes! That’s why the controversial Yulin Dog Meat Festival, where thousands of dogs are beaten and killed, has kicked off in China despite protests from animal rights activists. Also Read - Unconditional Love: This Chennai Woman Eats Only Once A Day & Saves the Rest For Her 13 Dogs

Not just them, the Chinese government has also discouraged the practice and been pushing to improve animal welfare for health reasons stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

As per a Reuters report, the annual 10-day festival in the southwestern city of Yulin attracts thousands of visitors, many of whom buy dogs from cramped cages and eat dishes made from their meat.

However, this year, the number of visitors has gone down and activists are hopeful its days are numbered.

“I do hope Yulin will change not only for the sake of the animals but also for the health and safety of its people. 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” Reuters quoted Peter Li, China policy specialist with the Humane Society International, an animal rights group as saying.

According to the Humane Society International, nearly 10 million dogs are slaughtered in China annually, with many abducted from streets and homes for the Yulin festival.

In the wake of coronavirus pandemic, China changed the classification of the country’s dogs from livestock to companion animals and is also considering new laws to ban the wildlife trade and safeguard pets.

Many on social media also called for banning this gruesome and inhumane practice: (Warning- Distressing images ahead)

Hope this abhorrent practice comes to an end soon!