President Moon Jae-in’s Rescue Dog Becomes Face of Campaign Opposing the South Korean Dog Meat Trade

dog meat trade

The President of South Korea Moon Jae-in has used his rescue dog Tori in a new campaign that opposes the dog meat trade. Tori’s role as the face of the campaign is fitting; prior to his rescue, the dog was being raised for meat.

The campaign was led by Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth (CARE), an organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes animals, naming itself the “voice for the voiceless.”

A poster showing before and after adoption images of Tori, including Tori being held by President Jae-in Moon, is being used in the campaign. Countless stuffed dog toys were laid in a large love heart in a public space in Seoul, South Korea. The plush dogs held love hearts that read “I’m not food.” Stalls were set up around the public display to educate onlookers on the cruelty of the dog meat trade.

The soft toys can be purchased for £20 and proceeds from the sales go toward rescuing abused or abandoned dogs.

President Jae-in adopted his dog from CARE last year following election promises to do so. Tori was named the country’s new “First Dog” — the first known time that a shelter animal has claimed the title. Prior to Tori’s adoption, CARE had been unable to find an owner for the dog due to South Korea’s prejudice against black canines.

In his election campaign, the president vowed to build more playgrounds for pets and install feeding facilities for stray cats. He also stated the dog meat trade should be phased out.


The campaign was launched during Bok Nal, the three hottest days of the Korean summer. During this time, intake of dog meat rises drastically as the public consume dog meat soup (“boshintang”) to beat the hot weather. An owner of a boshintang restaurant claims the number of people dining at his restaurant triples during this time.

However, as the world’s population becomes increasingly focused on animal rights, the popularity of dog meat is dwindling, according to Sky News. The publication also reported that dog meat is now mostly consumed by older people.

Image Credit: CARE