Street vendors in local markets in the Guangxi province city of Yulin are putting out metal cages containing hounds for sale for Tuesday’s dog meat festival.

Many cages hold one dog, while some have three crammed together, with a few cages even holding cats, an EPA journalist says.

Restaurant chefs and ordinary people are among the customers of between 20 and 30 vendors, who will sell their canine products on Monday and Tuesday.

Once purchased, the dogs will be killed and then cooked up in various dishes for the festival, which lands on the summer solstice.

Depending on the breed and quality of meat, the dogs sell for 60-70 yuan ($A12-$A13) per kilogram.

The festival attracts diners who believe dog meat is good for health, especially during hot summer days.

But not everyone is convinced of the benefits of the meat, and a number of animal rights groups are raising their voices in criticism of the event.

Animal protection organisation Humane Society International said in a statement last week it had rescued 34 animals, including dogs and cats, from a slaughterhouse in Yulin ahead of the festival.

Locals activists negotiated the release of the animals, which were reportedly living in squalid conditions and possibly stolen from pet owners, and transferred them to a shelter.

Thousands of dogs are being held across Yulin and will be killed for the festival, HSI claims.

EFE

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Street vendors in local markets in the Guangxi province city of Yulin are putting out metal cages containing hounds for sale for Tuesday's dog meat festival. Many cages hold one dog, while some have three crammed together, with a few cages even holding cats, an EPA journalist says. Restaurant chefs and...