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An annual Chinese dog meat festival will go ahead on Friday, despite animal cruelty protests.

The festival, held in Guangxi province, sees dogs packed into cages before being killed, skinned and cooked.

The protests were led by members of the Boai Small Animal Protection Centre, who are calling for the local government to cancel it, AFP reports.

dog meat festival china

A pet dog sits in a bicycle basket alongside a pile of dogs killed for their meat in Yulin, south China

Around 10,000 dogs are due to be slaughtered.

The group is hailing a small victory in that the local government has agreed to provide a special team to monitor the festival.

“I think the team will reduce the cruelty somewhat, but mostly on the surface,” said group founder Du Yufeng.

She added: “We have seen animals beaten just before being cooked… the more we inspect, the more cruelty we discover.”

china dog meat

Dog meat is considered a delicacy in China. Pictured is dog meat for sale in Guangzhou

However some residents have been angered by the protests.

Dog meat is “the tastiest dish”, say Wei Huan, who was raised on the food. “What is wrong with that?” she asked China Daily; “Why do we have to follow their (the protesters’) likes and dislikes?”

The event is reported to have started several decades ago to mark the summer solstice. It is expected to attract 10,000 attendees according to the South China Morning Post.