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Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., participates in the Problem Solvers Caucus press conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., participates in the Problem Solvers Caucus press conference in the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

No more killing kangaroos: Rep Salud Carbajal co-introduces bipartisan Kangaroo Protection Act

Kangaroo parts are still used widely to manufacture soccer cleats.

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In a bipartisan effort, U.S. Representatives Salud Carbajal (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the Kangaroo Protection Act to ban the sale of kangaroo body parts in the United States.

Carbajal’s bill aims to ban their sale for use in the shoe industry. Namely, by big players like Nike, adidas, Puma, and other companies that manufacture soccer cleats. 

The U.S. is the second-largest market just behind the European Union. 

“Commercial shooters kill 2 million kangaroos a year in Australia. Many kangaroos survived the recent wildfires only to be killed to make shoes,” Rep. Carbajal wrote on Twitter. 

In September 2020, Carbajal, joined by Rep. Tony Cárdenas, and Rep. Ted Lieu, and wrote a letter to then- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — now, the Health and Human Services Nominee for Biden’s Cabinet — urging him to enforce California’s first-in-the-nation ban on kangaroo parts and other species.

The ban has been in place since 2016, but lacks enforcement. Big-name retailers continue to sell kangaroo skin soccer cleats across the state.

An investigation by the Center for Humane Economy concurred, finding that enforcement of the ban has been “non-existent,” and kangaroos continue to be killed to manufacture shoes for Nike, adidas, Puma, and six other major manufacturers to make soccer cleats. 

"Commercial shooters kill roughly two million wild kangaroos a year to profit from the trade in their skins, despite the availability of alternative fabrics that are of similar or better quality. While California has banned the sale of kangaroo products, enforcement of this inhumane practice is lacking," said Carbajal. "I'm proud to stand against kangaroo trafficking and have introduced the Kangaroo Protection Act to make it illegal to exploit kangaroos in the United States and impose penalties for violations."

Co-drafter Rep. Fitzpatrick joined Carbajal’s sentiments, adding that as a member of the bipartisan Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, he will work to ensure their protection. 

A list of 72 soccer cleat models that use kangaroo skin may be found here.

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