Over 15,000 dogs were slaughtered for Chinese festival in Yulin in eastern China, which kicked off during the weekend.

Yulin is recognised throughout the region for producing some of the tastiest dog meat in the world. The festival started a couple years ago and draws sizable crowds of people who descend upon the city to take part in the event.

'It is just like other meat. Smaller animals tend to be more delicate and sweeter while very big dogs have a strong, muscular taste,” said Local Lu Hin, the Daily Mail reported.

We proved that when we started the festival a few years ago and everybody accepts that the best dog meat dishes come from Yulin. That was why we created the festival and the number of visitors we get is a testimony to the fact that everybody recognises how good the dog meat is from the region, he added.

Preserved dog meat is an accepted cuisine in some parts of Guangdong province as certain breeds of dogs are raised up to 3 or 4 months old and slaughtered on farms, local media reported.

Eating dog is a socially acceptable practice in parts of southern China. Dog meat has been a source of food in some areas of China from around 500 BC and possibly even earlier.

However, the dog meat industry has come under fire recently with many animal rights groups claiming animal cruelty. The first draft of a law against animal abuse, aiming to protect animals from being hurt or killed in a cruel manner, was completed by a group of experts and was due to be raised for legislation in April, local media reported earlier this year.

The proposal included jailing people who eat dog meat for up 15 days. While many Chinese enjoy rich dog meat, especially during cold winters, some object to the practice in some regions of beating dogs to death to release the blood into the meat.