'Dogs are friends not food' - Dublin protesters condemn 'barbaric' Yulin dog meat festival
Around 60 animal lovers gathered outside Dublin's Chinese Embassy this afternoon to protest against the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, which sees around 10,000 dogs killed each year.
Many of the people who attended protest, which was organised by animal rights group ARAN, brought their own dogs with them.
During the three day festival, thousands of dogs are strung up, skinned and cooked in local markets.
It is believed many are family pets stolen in the months leading up to the festival.
Often the animals forced into packed cages with three to four other dogs, and are left out in the open unable to shield themselves from the sun’s heat.
ARAN hopes that this year's festival will be the last according to its founder John Carmody.
"China and its people have much to offer, but this dog meat festival is turning the stomachs of potential visitors around the world who would consider travelling to China as a holiday destination," he said.
"The hearts of Irish people are broken with the images of dogs gasping for breath and stiff with fear as they wait their turn to be bludgeoned, skinned and cooked."
Currently there are no laws relating to animal cruelty in China, however the National People's Congress is to sign into law a bill that would punish animal abusers with a 6000 yuan (€850) fine.
China slaughters 10 million dogs each year for their meat, a million of which killed at these type of festivals.