dog meat festival china
A dog rescued from a dog meat market looks out of its cageHumane Society International

Organisers of the dog slaughter festival in the Chinese town of Yulin are going ahead with plans for the event despite outrage from across the world.

As many as 10,000 dogs are to be butchered for their meat for the Lychee and Dog Meat Festival, which marks the peak of summer providing a perfect time for a gathering of family and friends.

Though the build-up to the festival began days before the event in Guangxi province, where Yulin is located, it reaches its peak on Monday, 22 June.

Yulin city, with a population of about 600,000, gets into the spotlight every June, increasingly in recent years, over the dog festival.

Yulin residents and vendors defend the practice insisting the dogs are killed in a humane manner, but rights activists dispute this.

"It's healthy, just like raising pigs or chickens, it's fine. But you definitely must not eat dogs if you don't know the source, or dogs which have illness," a local named Teng Jianyi told CNN, as he devoured a dog dish along with his family members.

Nascent animal rights groups in China have been quite vociferous against the festival. About 10 activists, who tried to stage protests at the festival venue, were swiftly removed by unidentified men.

The anti-festival campaigners were holding placards, which read: "Crack down on illegal dog meat treat" and "Punish illegal dog transport".

The protests have failed to move local authorities who say there is nothing in existing Chinese law to stop the consumption of dog meat.

Adam Parascandola, director of animal cruelty issues at the US-based Humane Society, said: "Many of these animals are stolen pets, and most of the dog meat trucks coming in are in total breach of China's very clear laws on animals for human consumption. How much longer can China simply allow the Yulin authorities to flout the law like this?"