The Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival is an annual event in Yualin, Guangxing, China where people gather at markets to boost the city's economy. Arguably, one of the most disturbing parts of the festival is the killing of dogs. 

Read: Is Yulin Dog Meat Festival Real? Chinese Restaurant Sells Delicious Canine Dishes, It Claims

The festival started in 2010, but eating meat has been a practice in China and Asia for thousands of years. Dog meat supposedly helps combat the heat which is why the festival takes place during the summer. In 2016, it was estimated that 10,000 dogs were going to be killed at the festival, according to Forbes.

This year, there were rumors of a ban on dog meat sales. On June 15, The Beijing News reported that there would be no ban. Because of all the controversy around the event and the thousands of people who protest it each year, the Yulin government no longer formally endorses it. Since 2014, the festival has lived on as an informal event.   

Check out some photos of past festivals below: 

 

ydf 3 Activists protest and try to rescue dogs caged at a free market ahead of the Yulin Dog Eating Festival in Yulin, China on June 20, 2014. Photo: Getty Images ydf 4 Dog bodies put on desk for sales at a free market ahead of Yulin Dog Eating Festival in Yulin, Guangxi, China on June 18, 2014. Photo: Getty Images ydf 10 A dog to be killed ahead of the Yulin Dog Eating Festival in Yulin, Guangxi, China on June 17, 2014. Photo: Getty Images ydf5 5 Dog meats sold at local restaurants on June 17, 2014. in Yulin, Guangxi, China for the Yulin Dog Eating Festival. Photo: Getty Images ydf6 Dog bodies put up for sale in a market ahead of the Yulin Dog Eating Festival in Yulin, Guangxi, China on June 18, 2014. Photo: Getty Images ydf7 Dog bodies put for sale at a free market ahead of the Yulin Dog Eating Festival in Yulin, Guangxi, China on June 18, 2014. Photo: Getty Images ydf8 A female activists protests and tries to rescue caged dogs on June 20, 2014 ahead of the Yulin Dog Eating Festival in Yulin, Guangxi, China. Photo: Getty Images ydf9 A dog to be killed caged at a free market on June 17, 2014 ahead of the Yulin Dog Eating Festival in Yulin, Guangxi, China. Photo: Getty Images ydf11 An animal rights activist (L) takes a photo of vendors waiting for customers to buy dogs in cages in Yulin, Guangxi, Chila on June 22, 2015 during the Yulin Dog Eating Festival. Photo: Getty Images ydf12 A dog looks out from its cage, waiting for customers on June 22, 2015 in a Yulin, Guangxi, China market during the Yulin Dog Eating Festival. Photo: Getty Images ydf13 Dogs sold at a market on June 21, 2015, one day before the Yulin Dog Eating Festival takes place in Yulin, Guangxi, China. Photo: Getty Images ydf14 Customers view dogs in cages on sale at a market on June 21, 2015 at a market in Yulin, Guangxi, China. Photo: Getty Images ydf15 A man processes cooked dog meat on June 19, 2015 in Yulin, Guangxi, China. Photo: Getty Images ydf16 Dogs look out from a cage at a market in Yulin, Guangxi, China on June 20, 2014. Photo: Getty Images ydf Activists protest and try to rescue dogs caged at a free market ahead of the Yulin Dog Eating Festival in Yulin, China on June 20, 2014. Photo: Getty Images ydf eh Vendor threatens to kill dogs at free market ahead of Yulin Dog Eating Festival in Yulin City, China on June 20, 2015. Photo: Getty Images