The Oregon legislature has introduced a bill to ban the sale of Kangaroo parts, targeting manufacturers of sports apparel who use kangaroo leather primarily in soccer cleats.
According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, cleats are typically the only product sold in Oregon that contain kangaroo. However, popular athletics brand Nike is based in Oregon, and is the largest employer in the state.
Floyd Prozanski, the Democratic State Senator who introduced the bill, said in a press release that the humane treatment of animals supersedes the economic concerns.
"It's unconscionable that millions of native wild animals in Australia have been killed for the sake of high-end soccer cleats worn by a subset of elite soccer players," he said. "I understand this legislation may have financial impact on some Oregon shoe manufacturers, but in the balance Oregon should be standing on the humane side of this issue. There are other materials that can be used in making these high-end cleats."
Nike previously confirmed to ESPN that they use a "small portion" of kangaroo leather in soccer cleats, and that they "work with leather suppliers that source animal skins from processors that use sound animal husbandry and humane treatment, whether farmed, domesticated, or wild managed."
The sale of kangaroo parts was outlawed in California in the 1970s, when the animal was listed as "endangered" by U.S. environmental protection standards. Commercial harvest of kangaroos is not illegal in Australia, and the species is considered "recovered." A bill was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2021 to ban selling kangaroo, but has not yet been approved.
The Center for a Humane Economy, Animal Wellness Action, and the Animal Wellness Foundation all praised the Oregon bill, with board member of CHE Rene Tatro writing: "It's time for these shoe manufacturers to evolve their business model to eliminate extreme animal cruelty in their product offerings."
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