A petition that calls for an end to the annual dog-eating festival in Yulin, China, has collected 11 million signatures.

Activists behind the petition are hoping to stop the consumption of dog meat at the festival, which is set to start later this month. 24 activists accompanied by their dogs submitted the petition to the representative office of Yulin city in China’s capital, Beijing. The activists were seen holding banners with pictures of their pets and the message “I’m not your dinner”.

Yulin’s controversial annual festival which is set to take place on 21 June involves the slaughter of thousands of dogs for human consumption. According to the Washington Post, 30 million dogs are killed across Asia on an annual basis for their meat, with China being responsible for more than a third of that number.

Many of the dogs are allegedly stolen for the festival and are kept in cramped cages before their slaughter. Humane Society International has described the Yulin event as a “nightmare not a festival”.

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