Bill banning sale of kangaroo parts passed in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. – A bill that would ban the sale of kangaroo parts was introduced in the Oregon state legislature, targeting athletic apparel manufacturers that use leather from animals to manufacture their products.

Soccer shoes are one of the few kangaroo leather products routinely sold in Oregon. Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. The move would impact Nike, which is based in Oregon and the state’s largest employer.

“It is ruthless that millions of native wildlife in Australia were killed for high-end football boots worn by a subset of elite football players,” said Floyd Prozanski, the Oregon Democratic Republic’s Senator introducing the bill, in a press release issued Monday by animal rights groups. “I understand that this legislation may have a financial impact on some Oregon shoe manufacturers, but the bottom line is that Oregon should be on the humane side of this issue. There are other materials that can be used to make these high-end cleats.”

In the press release, the Center for a Humane Economy, Animal Wellness Action and the Animal Wellness Foundation welcomed the move.

“It’s time these footwear companies evolved their business model to eliminate extreme animal cruelty in their product offerings,” said Rene Tatro, board member of the Center for a Humane Economy.

Nike did not respond to OPB’s request for comment, but the company did said ESPN last month that it uses kangaroo leather in a “small portion” of its football boots and that it “works with leather suppliers who source animal hides from processors that use sound animal husbandry and humane treatment, whether farmed, domesticated or wild managed.”

Oregon law would make it a crime to buy, receive, sell, or commercially exchange “any product containing part of a dead kangaroo.”

Connecticut lawmakers have introduced a similar bill this session. A federal ban on kangaroo products was proposed but not approved in the US House of Representatives in 2021.

The ban on “K-Leather” would not be without precedent: California enacted a ban on kangaroo-based products in the 1970s.

Commercial harvesting of kangaroos in Australia is legal. More than 1.3 million kangaroos were killed for commercial purposes in the country in 2021, OPB reported, citing Australia’s Department for Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water. The agency said that figure accounts for less than a third of the “sustainable quota,” which is the amount it thinks could be killed without endangering any of the top four kangaroo species.

The US listed several species of kangaroos as “endangered” from the mid-’70s to mid-’90s, but the animal is considered “recovered.”

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Bill banning sale of kangaroo parts passed in Oregon

Sarah Y. Kim

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