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Skewered dogs are sold as kebabs by Vietnam street vendors in horrific pictures from a meat market.

The small dogs' bodies can be seen laying over grills as vendors prepare to carve them and serve them at Hanoi's 'Thit Cho' market restaurants.

The images, captured by Josh Edelson who was travelling through the country, show the animals' hardened and darkened skin splitting as they are piled on one another.

Many of the dogs still have their teeth in place.

Josh, from California, said he tried for two day to find vendors who would allow him to film and photograph their dog kebab stalls.

Street vendors prepare dog meat or "Thit Cho" as it is known in Hanoi

He said: "The first time I tried, they shooed me away. They don't like having photos taken, prob because it's a pretty controversial part of their culture - eating dog.'

"The locals contend that it is part of their culture and that it should remain."

Josh said at one point during a visit to the market, he saw soldiers approach a stall and expected to see them shut it down.

However, he was surprised when the soldiers went on to buy some of the dog kebabs.

The vendors turn the bodies of the dogs into kebabs
A vendor grills some of the dog meat kebabs

Josh added: "I thought [the soldiers] were there to shut it down, but then was surprised to see them buy some."

Eating dog is still legal in Southeast Asia, although it is frowned upon and the government has plans to ban its consumption by 2021.

However the dog meat industry was said to be booming just a few years ago, with reports of pets being stolen from homes to be turned into food.

In 2014, seven tonnes of live dogs were shipped to Hanoi every day, reports the Mail.

Most of the shipped animals come from neighbouring Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.

Piles of dogs with hardened and blackened skin
Most of the shipped animals come to Hanoi from neighbouring Thailand, Cambodia and Laos

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Horror stories of dogs being bludgeoned to death and stuffed with stones and wights to increase their market value shocked the world.

Others have their throats slit or are stabbed in the chest, while some are even burned alive.

Some diners believed the more the animal suffered in its death, the tastier the meat.

However, in recent years the industry and plummeted after growing pressures from animal activist groups across the world.