Every year roughly 2 million wild kangaroos are killed in their native habitat of Australia by commercial shooters.
Commercial Shooters kill wild kangaroos in order to profit from their valuable skins. Not only are adults killed, but this includes 400,000 joeys or baby kangaroos. The joeys are ordered to be bludgeoned to death by the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes, when they are found in their deceased mothers’ pouches.
Unfortunately, it is the market for Kangaroo skin specifically, which drives the demand for the commercial kangaroo industry. The desire for skins is lead by the demand for soccer cleats, with 70 percent of all skins sold to be used to make these shoes.
The “Kangaroos Are Not Shoes” campaign is about raising awareness of this shocking but little-known animal welfare issue. Nike and Adidas have been manufacturing “k-leather” soccer shoes for years. Recognizing the inhumanity of the industry, California’s legislature re-imposed a ban on the sale of kangaroo products in 2016. But some cleat manufacturers including Nike, specifically, have been caught illegally selling and delivering these shoes to California residents.
Stopping the sales of Kangaroo leather shoes in California would have a huge impact on the survival of kangaroos. California is the biggest soccer market in the United States, which in turn drives the commercial killing of kangaroos in Australia.
Thankfully many elite professional soccer players today choose high performance cleats made of synthetics, mesh, knits and artificial kangaroo skin, rather than kangaroo leather and these shoes continue to be by far the top-selling cleats throughout California.