Shortly after a South Korean court ruled the killing of dogs for meat as illegal, a new campaign has been launched in the country to reiterate that dogs are 'not food'.

The initiative comes as a result of President Moon Jae-in's adopted dog, Tori, who he acquired back in 2017.

© Sky News

Tori, the black mongrel, was "abandoned, abused, and raised to be eaten before he was rescued," according to Park So Youn, president of Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE).

The 'first dog' has become the figurehead for CARE's campaign, with soft toys being made in Tori's likeness with the message "I'm not food".

Profit from the toys, which cost £20, will help towards rescuing abandoned and abused dogs in the country, the charity has confirmed.

The campaign coincides with the period of the year when Koreans traditionally eat dog meat soup in the belief that it helps protect from the summer heat.

© Sky News

Speaking of Tori's role in the campaign, Ms. Park has said:

"President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook said they are very glad and happy because Tori has totally changed."

"He looked anxious and sad when he first came to them but now he looks very happy and bright."

Fortunately, the consumption of dog meat is largely attributed to elderly people nowadays, with the tradition dying out among the younger generations.

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