Officials have banned the practice at the annual Yulin Dog Meat Festival but campaigners have re-started a petition after it emerged local government workers in the region cannot stop business owners from selling the controversial product.

The Office star Gervais appears on a campaign poster featuring an image of himself petting a pooch alongside the slogan, "Please help stop Yulin Dog Meat Festival", and he took to to urge fans to show their support.

Starsky & Hutch star Soul, who has been promoting a long-running campaign against the dog meat trade in Asia via his official website, also took to Twitter to write, "Do whatever you can however you can do it. #StopYuLin2015."