By Joseph Campbell YULIN, China (Reuters) – China's southern city of Yulin began its annual dog meat festival on Tuesday despite opposition from animal rights activists, as residents complained of new government measures to keep the festival low key. Animal rights activists this month handed Beijing authorities a petition with 11 million signatures protesting against the festival, which they say is cruel. Though there was only a small number of dogs on sale at the city's central market, several activists bought the animals which they would otherwise end up on the grill. "Dogs are man's best, the most loyal friend. You tell me," said Yang Yuhua, an animal rights activist who flew from the southwestern city of Chongqing to buy dogs sold at this year's festival. Yang spent over 1,000 yuan ($150) to buy two caged dogs at the market from the vendor. Vendors said that they hoped for good business this year. "They are a lot, a lot of people who like (eating dog meat).
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