Nike, Puma to stop using kangaroo leather in football boots
Nike has become the latest global sportswear producer to announce it will stop using kangaroo leather.
The US based company said today it "will stop making any product with kangaroo leather in 2023".
Nike's latest offering of its Tiempo football shoe franchise will be made from what the company said was a "proprietary synthetic upper".
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It offered a "better performance solution and replaces the use of kangaroo leather", the company said.
The move comes after the introduction of a bill earlier this year in the US state of Oregon – where Nike has its headquarters – that would ban the sale of "any part of a dead kangaroo or any product containing a part of a dead kangaroo".
Animal rights activists in Australia and overseas have long campaigned against the killing of kangaroos for commercial purposes.
Legislators in Connecticut are also debating similar bans aimed at sports apparel manufacturers that use kangaroo leather to make their products.
California banned kangaroo products in the 1970s.
The European Union – the top destination for Australian exports of kangaroo products – began debating a ban on kangaroo meat and skin imports.
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The Nike announcement follows the decision by German sportswear giant Puma to this year halt production of football boots made from kangaroo leather.
They will be replaced with a non-animal based, synthetic material which Puma says is superior.
Australian conservation organisation Kangaroos Alive said the move by Nike is a big victory, after a two year campaign lobbying the multinational.
"The change in material will be seen on Australian sporting fields across the country, from grassroots level to the top AFL and NRL codes, with the manufacturer in a long term partnership with AFL clubs Richmond and Carlton, as well as the official kit supplier of both the Queensland Maroons and NSW Blues State of Origin teams," it said in a statement.
But the the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia (KIAA) said earlier this year the industry was confident in its robust standards of excellence in animal welfare, sustainability and food safety.
It said the commercial kangaroo industry is worth more than $200 million to the Australian economy and employs more than 3,000 people.
More than 1.3 million kangaroos were killed for commercial purposes in Australia in 2021, according to data by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
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