Vigilantes in Vietnam are cracking down on dog thieves supplying the country’s sickening meat trade – even beating some of them to death.
Videos show villagers beating and torturing a number of suspected dog snatchers after catching them in the act.
The thieves use electric rods to shock pooches before bundling them into bags or cages to be sold at dog meat markets.
Undercover pictures provided to Mirror Online show the barbaric conditions at one of these markets in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The heartbreaking images show snatched pets being held in cages just inches away from cooked dogs.
The thieves who supply the markets can apparently steal up to 10 dogs a night, earning around 2 million Vietnamese dong (around £70), according to the animal welfare organisation Soi Dog Foundation.
It is a significant amount of money in a country where the average wage is around £200 a month.
However, Vietnamese vigilantes are fighting back against the heartless thieves.
Sam McElroy, operations director at Soi Dog Foundation, told Mirror Online that villagers started beating dog snatchers to death after a pair of thieves injured an old man in 2012.
The criminals were set upon by locals in Nghe An province, who burned their bikes and killed one of them, leaving the other seriously injured.
The case made the headlines and the authorities were unable to prosecute anyone involved after witnesses refused to cooperate.
This inspired other villages to follow the same brutal approach.
Videos uploaded to YouTube since 2012 show vigilantes beating alleged dog thieves to a bloody pulp.
In one clip, locals in Khả Do, near the city of Phúc Yên, can be seen beating a man on the ground, while another shocks him with a taser.
The villagers can be heard discussing the man using an ‘electric flying spear’, a pole hooked up to electric wire, to catch dogs.
This is said to be the favoured tool of dog snatchers, who often operate in two-man crews on motorbikes.
The criminals shock dogs with the weapon, which is attached to a portable battery.
In another video a suspected thief can be seen lying on the ground covered with his alleged tools, including an electric flying spear.
The man’s face is badly swollen in the clip and he can be heard pleading for his life.
He is surrounded by dogs, with one of the vigilantes saying he found as much cash on him as he earns in a month.
They then force the suspect to call his family and tell them he has been caught stealing.
More than one million people have signed a petition calling on Formula 1, which was due to hold its first race in Hanoi, Vietnam, in April, to help bring an end to the country’s dog meat trade.
Click here to sign the petition.