It’s been a long campaign for UK and Australian animal activists, but in August Adidas announced it would no longer use kangaroo skin for its elite sports shoes, worn by the likes of David Beckham. In fact, it was reported that David Beckham stopped wearing those shoes in 2006 when the slaughter methods were explained to him.
The UK Daily Mail reported: “Sporting giant Adidas has agreed to end the use of kangaroo leather for the prestige boots worn by Premier League football stars following complaints of animal cruelty. Animal welfare groups have been calling for a boycott amid concerns over the culling of the kangaroos involved, which is known to involve shooting adults and clubbing the young to death. In the past, all major manufacturers have used kangaroo skin for boots worn by stars from David Beckham to Frank Lampard and John Terry.
“Now Adidas, which is German owned, has revealed its famous Predator brand boots are now made without kangaroo skin and it will reduce its use of the material by 98 percent over the next 12 months. The move by Adidas followed pressure from ethical investors, specifically the British organisation Co-op Asset Management.”
The report said British animal welfare group Viva! has worked closely with the Australian Wildlife Protection Council (AWPC) in campaigns to prevent the sale of kangaroo products, including meat. The Adidas move may save thousands of kangaroos. Overseas campaigns liken the bashing of joeys to the clubbing of Canadian harp seal pups, a practice that earned world-wide condemnation. Europeans and Russians reportedly have little trouble seeing the similarity.
A report from Viva!’s campaign director Justin Kerswell says Nike pledged to phase out kangaroo skin last year. He said in June, Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz said at the UN Rio 20+Earth summit that the football boot manufacturing industry must move away from leather and embrace synthetics for an eco-friendly future.