In previous years there have been scuffles between stall owners and activists trying to rescue the dogs slated for slaughter.
The city of Yulin is not the biggest dog meat consumer in Guangxi province though. It is only since the festival started around 10 years ago that the city received national and international attention.
What’s wrong with dog for dinner?
It is all about accusations of animal cruelty and changes in attitudes to dogs in China.
Residents and vendors say the dogs are killed in a humane way and that eating them is no more or less cruel than consuming pork, beef or chicken.
Eating dog is an old tradition in China, South Korea and some other Asian countries. Those in favour of it are upset by what they say is foreigners interfering with local traditions.
In Chinese culture dog meat is said to be beneficial during the hot summer months.
Even many who do not eat dog defend the practice as long as the animals are not stolen or killed in an inhumane way.