[Emily Chan | DailyMail.co.uk]

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]embers of the Chinese national pole dancing team have posed as stray dogs in protest against the country’s controversial dog-eating culture.

The women are photographed chained up and in cages in order to recreate pictures showing the brutal treatment of dogs.

They hope the campaign will raise awareness of animal cruelty after the Yulin festival, which took place in Guangxi earlier this week, according to the People’s Daily Online.

Campaign: The Chinese national pole dancing team has posed as dogs in protest against animal cruelty
Campaign: The Chinese national pole dancing team has posed as dogs in protest against animal cruelty
Tortured: The photographs come just days after the controversial Yulin dog-eating festival in Guangxi
Terrified: Two women pose as dogs being prepared for slaughter, next to an image of meat hung up at Yulin

One of the pictures shows a pole dancer posing as a dog that is being dragged along the road by a van, while in others the women pose as dogs being prepared for slaughter.

In the corner of each picture is a photograph of real dogs that have been abused.

Examples of captions on the campaign images include ‘Please don’t abandon me’ and ‘I don’t know what I’ve done wrong’.

Dogs have been eaten in Asia for centuries, although there has been a change in China over recent years as more and more people get dogs as pets.

It is custom to eat dog to mark the summer solstice because it is believed to have health benefits in warding off the summer heat, according to Xinhua.

Cruel: One pole dancer poses as a dog being dragged along by a van to recreate a picture taken last year
Chained up: The women say they hope that the photographs will raise awareness about animal abuse

There has been widespread anger about the Yulin dog-eating festival, where as many as 10,000 dogs – including stolen pets – are slaughtered each year.

Celebrities including Simon Cowell and Ricky Gervais have spoken out against the ‘barbaric and disgusting’ festival.

More than four million people have signed a petition calling for a stop to the Yulin festival, in a campaign that has attracted supporters from across the globe.

Caged: The Yulin festival, which sees thousands of dogs slaughtered, has attracted widespread anger
Inhumane: One vendor is pictured pulling hard on the leash of a dog, while others are stuffed in a small cage
Inhumane: One vendor is pictured pulling hard on the leash of a dog, while others are stuffed in a small cage

The dogs are clubbed over the head and have their throats cut open, before they are thrown into boiling water.

The butcher then plucks all the hair, removes all the organs and puts the carcass on the grill.

As many as 10 million dogs are believed to be killed for their meat in China every year.