Author Archives: News Release

New Jersey lawmakers take aim at blunting world’s largest commercial wildlife slaughter by seeking ban on sale of kangaroo parts

Senators Kean and Weinberg introduce legislation to stop sale of soccer cleats made from kangaroo skins by Nike, Adidas

(TRENTON, NJ) — Veteran state senators are seeking to make the Garden State the second state in the nation to ban the trade in kangaroo skins for soccer shoes or cleats, and other purposes.  Commercial shooters kill two million kangaroos a year in their native habitats in Australia for commercial sale, mainly for use in footwear used in the world’s most popular sport.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr., R-21st, and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-37th, have introduced the Kangaroo Protection Act to block the sale of kangaroo-sourced products such as high-end kangaroo leather soccer cleats. Years ago, California banned the sale of kangaroo-sourced products, and the Center for a Humane Economy (Center) has been working to assure that in the nation’s largest soccer market, the law is enforced and so-called “K-leather” cleats are not available to 40 million consumers there.

“Kangaroos are the iconic mammals of Australia, and it’s revolting that they are being killed for commerce in their body parts,” said Senator Kean, a long-time champion of animal welfare.  “We want to use the power of nine million New Jersey consumers to halt this trade.”

“This commercial hunt does not just claim an extraordinary toll of adult kangaroos, but 400,000 joeys found in the pouches or at the feet of their slain mothers,” noted Senator Weinberg, who has partnered with Senators Lesniak and Kean on other animal welfare measures in Trenton. “That’s a bigger toll on newborn animals than Canada’s infamous seal hunt.”

The Center and sister organization Animal Wellness Action (AWA) are partnering with former New Jersey Senator Ray Lesniak and the Lesniak Institute for American Leadership on pushing Nike and other athletic companies to end their use of kangaroo skins. Senator Lesniak, who served for 40 years in the Legislature, authored a raft of animal welfare bills, including a ban on the trade in ivory and rhino horn, a halt to shark finning, and the use of wild animals in circuses.

“With my colleagues, I worked to make New Jersey one of the nation’s top states in fighting cruelty to animals and the trade in wildlife parts,” said former Senator Lesniak. “The Kangaroo Protection Act will help stop the slaughter of kangaroos and their joeys half a world away and right in line with making us the ‘the Humane State.’  I am dedicating this effort to my late wife who instilled in me an incredible passion for stopping cruelty.”

The Center and AWA announced a campaign called “Kangaroos Are Not Shoes” to convince Nike, Adidas, and other major shoe manufacturers to eliminate kangaroos from its supply chain. Diadora, the fourth largest soccer brand in the US, stopped using kangaroo skin last year.  

In March, U.S. Representatives Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., introduced H.R. 917, the Kangaroo Protection Act to ban any trade-in kangaroo parts throughout the United States. The U.S. is the second-largest importer of kangaroo products, valued at about $80 million a year, trailing only the European Union with total imports of $90 million.  The Center and AWA last week released a short film throughout Europe, in partnership with 14 animal welfare groups there, to further narrow the market for kangaroo goods. View the 60-second short film here.

Nike, adidas, Puma, New Balance, and other manufacturers have refused to halt the slaughter of wild kangaroos (see the list here). But soccer company Diadora, and fashion houses including Prada, Versace, Paul Smith, Chanel, Stella McCartney, Gucci, and others have made the humane and ethical decision to rid kangaroo from their offerings.

“We know of no other consumer product in the world that comes from such a massive, ruthless and merciless slaughter of native wildlife,” added Wayne Pacelle, president of the Center for a Humane Economy and Animal Wellness Action. “New Jersey and the rest of the United States should not finance the ongoing slaughter of kangaroos for use as soccer equipment.”

A ban in New Jersey would prompt a couple of dozen independent soccer specialty retailers and 10 Dick’s Sporting Goods locations to swap out kangaroo-based soccer cleats for a wide array of models that do not use animal skins. A handful of restaurants or food trucks offer kangaroo steak to diners.  And some pet food contains kangaroo meat.

“Adverse impacts to businesses would be non-existent but the benefit to kangaroos immense,” added Pacelle. “New technology synthetics and knits are better performing and often cost far less than the old-fashioned kangaroo leather cleats introduced in the 1960s.”

Read the state bill here.  See the Kangaroo Protection Act fact sheet here.  See the Center for a Humane Economy’s short film here.

Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

The Animal Wellness Foundation (Foundation) is a Los Angeles-based private charitable organization with a mission of helping animals by making veterinary care available to everyone with a pet, regardless of economic ability. We organize rescue efforts and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving caregiver. We are advocates for getting veterinarians to the front lines of the animal welfare movement; promoting responsible pet ownership; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent animal cruelty and that alleviate suffering. We believe helping animals helps us all.

The Center for a Humane Economy (“the Center”) is a non-profit organization that focuses on influencing the conduct of corporations to forge a humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both.

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2021

Contact: Jeff Burnside at 206-512-6544


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GREAT NEWS! German supermarkets drop Kangaroo meat


German retailers Kaufland, Real, Lidl, and V-Markt and pet-food manufacturer BEWITAL have agreed to stop selling kangaroo-meat products. The news comes after a joint letter signed by several organisations, including PETA* Germany, informed them about the cruelty inherent in kangaroo hunting in Australia.

Cruel Slaughter

In Australia, more than 1.5 million kangaroos are shot every year to make pet food, steaks, and leather products. Hunters shine blinding lights and fire rifles at dusk when kangaroos are grazing peacefully. Then, the injured animals are decapitated or hit sharply on the head before their flesh is butchered and their skin is torn off so it can be exported and made into accessories often labelled as k-leather.

Following graphic photos of charred kangaroos and reports that huge swathes of their habitat were decimated by recent bushfires in Australia, putting them under ever-increasing pressure, more and more people are demanding an end to the government-sanctioned slaughter. We’re delighted that these German supermarkets have made the right decision to end their involvement in this barbaric killing.

By PETA (*People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), 19 Nov 2020.

IMAGE: Vladislav Jirousek, Dreamstime.

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Rescued koalas, Jessie and Amelia, return to the wild (NSW)


Early in 2020, amidst the devastating bushfires that ravaged Australia, Bear, the USC x IFAW koala detection dog was deployed to Peak View in NSW, at the site of Two Thumbs Wildlife Sanctuary.


The Sanctuary, run by James Fitzgerald, had been destroyed by the Good Good Fire on 23rd January and was dealt a second blow when a firefighting air tanker crashed while trying to protect the sanctuary, killing the three US firefighter crew onboard.The Hercules water bomber (an aircraft filled with water to dump thousands of litres of water and fire retardant on out-of-control blazes) had been deployed in an effort to regain control of the fires at Two Thumbs as the flames were too large to be dealt with by fire trucks.

Rescuing Jessie and Amelia

“When we heard the devastating news of Two Thumbs Wildlife Sanctuary being destroyed this past January, we deployed USC X IFAW’s detection dog, Bear, to help search for survivors” says IFAW’s Josey Sharrad.

Bear and the team visited the area to look for surviving koalas in need of rescue. Using the scent of their fur, Bear located a mother koala and her joey. The koalas, named Jessie and Amelia (pictured above), were brought to the Australian National University, where they received emergency care and embarked on a specialized rehabilitation plan led by Dr. Karen Ford. During a checkup, the team performed an ultrasound and discovered exciting news — Jessie was pregnant!

… CONTINUE READING  (ifaw website)

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Parra Waripa — Red Kangaroo Song

PARRA WARIPA - Red Kangaroo Song

We are thrilled at the success of this song. We couldn’t be happier with our collaboration with David Bridie (seven-time ARIA award-winning songwriter and composer) and Jida Gulpilil proud multi-clan man from Dja Dja Wurrung and Wamba Wamba. PARRA WARIPA is the title track to KANGAROO A Love-Hate Story.

“All over the world audiences are stunned by the beauty of the music and Wemba Wemba language.”
— Kate McIntyre Clere. Co-director of KANGAROO.


Composed by David Bridie, Performed by Jida Gulpilil.

PARRA WARIPA (Red Kangaroo) is sung in the Wemba Wemba language, spoken by the Wamba Wamba and Perrepa Perrepa people from the Riverina Region of New South Wales. We are honoured that Parra Waripa has reached #1 on the AMRAP (Australian Music Radio Airplay Project) charts this NAIDOC week.

If you haven’t listened, danced to and shared the song, you better get to it.


— The Kangaroo Team

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