Kangaroos won! Please share. Thanks to everyone who emailed Californian Senators. You joined up to 100,000 people around the world who signed petitions and contacted the Senators directly. The main use - or abuse - of wild kangaroos in California is for the manufacture of soccer cleats!
Keep an eye on the Kangroos at risk website www.kangaroosatrisk.org for more pages going up soon about ecology, surveys and the industry.
Thanks to Jennifer Fearing
Brilliant work by the amazing Californian lobbyist Jennifer Fearing, Kangaroos at Risk partner US team Humane Society US and CA, and the wonderful Australian organisations who co-signed letters to Californian senators and put out the call via their networks. It’s been an inspiring win.
Kangaroos: World's Largest Wildlife Slaughter
By Maria Leonila Masculino, Sep 09, 2015 11:14 PM EDT
In 2007, the California government has exempted the bill prohibiting the sale of kangaroo products imported from Australia. As the extended exemption ends on December 31st, lobbyists and lawmakers hired by the Australian government and manufacturers are calling to extend or repeal the prohibition.
California is currently the world's largest market for soccer cleats - with many of these made with kangaroo leather. The growing sale of kangaroo skin as shoes didn't happen if it weren't for the aggressive lobbying of Adidas, the Australian government and the kangaroo meat and skin industry in 2007 and 2010 - repealing for the prohibition which was upheld by the California Supreme Court in 1970.
California assemblyman Mike Gipson of Los Angeles has recently proposed a last-minute bill known as "gut and amend" to step-aside from the wildlife protection law. This came after the freshman lawmaker was courted by Australians.
"The Australian government have, as well as other people, approached me around this particular measure," Gipson said. "We have seen members of the Australian Consulate lobbying alongside these paid lobbyists in the building last week. People should be concerned about a foreign government's influence here that's not being disclosed to their people or ours."
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), kangaroos are "the world's largest wildlife slaughter" - threatening the population of the said species.
The Dodo reports that in the Australian states of Queensland and Western Australia, 2014 surveys show massive declines in the kangaroo population of up to 50%. Hunters have killed over 130,000 female kangaroos last year. As a result, tens of thousands of joeys have been abandoned and killed.
"I think everything about this stinks," said Jennifer Fearing of the HSUS. "I think it's all meant to be cloaked in secrecy and obfuscate a real conversation."
The Australian government reportedly paid $143,000 to lobbyists and lawmakers to activate the debate including $1,000 to Gipson.