New campaign: #kangaroosnotshoes

New campaign: #kangaroosnotshoes

01 September 2020

New campaign: #kangaroosnotshoes

Each year, 1.6 million kangaroos are cruelly killed

With its new campaign #kangaroosnotshoes, GAIA asks sportswear manufacturer Adidas to stop selling shoes made from kangaroo leather. To achieve this, GAIA is collaborating with The Center for a Humane Economy, Kangaroos Alive and FAADA. The kangaroo hunt is incredibly cruel. "Brands that use kangaroo leather are therefore complicit in a large-scale and vicious massacre," says GAIA president Michel Vandenbosch. "By selling kangaroo leather shoes, Adidas supports young kangaroos being slammed against the bumper of a car or being beheaded." Previously, GAIA managed to convince all major supermarkets in Belgium to take kangaroo meat off their shelves. "The forest fires in Australia have already caused enough damage within the kangaroo population." In Australia, kangaroos are cruelly hunted and slaughtered on a large scale for their skin, which is then imported to Europe and processed into leather. With a view to the sale of kangaroo meat and skin to Belgium and other countries, the Australian government has set a quota for the number of kangaroos that may be hunted. On the basis of this quota, an estimated 1.6 million kangaroos, including young kangaroos ('joeys') as collateral damage, are brutally hunted and killed each year. Over a period of 30 years, more than 90 million marsupials have been killed. This makes the kangaroo the most widely hunted wild animal on our planet.

K-leather

Kangaroo leather (K-leather) is used in football and other sports shoes by brands such as Adidas. “As one of the market leaders, Adidas should set an example”, says Vandenbosch. “If they take animal welfare seriously, they should stop using kangaroo leather. If brands such as Diadora, Prada and Versace can do it, then surely Adidas can too.” GAIA would also like to ask the consumers to pay attention when buying shoes. “Many people don’t realise that they are buying shoes or other items made from kangaroo leather. The industry uses a clever trick: Most people don’t know what k-leather really stands for.

Alternatives

In addition, there are alternative synthetic, recycled and plant-based materials that provide the same technical performance as kangaroo leather. “This means that it's perfectly possible to make all shoes kangaroo-free without loss of quality."

Large-scale massacre

Kangaroo hunts take place under cover of night. The marsupials, blinded by huge spotlights, are shot from a roving vehicle at considerable distances. To kill the animals, hunters are legally required to do it with a single shot to the head. In reality, however, hunters miss all the time, and the gunshot wounds cause tremendous suffering. Kangaroos are often shot in the throat, nose, jaw, or ears, condemning them to a long-drawn-out agony. It’s only days or even weeks later that the animals who escape die of exhaustion, deprivation or blood loss.

Joeys

Baby kangaroos – also know as joeys – are also killed during the kangaroo hunt. To illustrate, a horrific 800,000 baby kangaroos (still in their mother’s pouches) and 300,000 slightly older joeys (able to hop around) were slaughtered or left to die between 2000 and 2009. The most commonly used techniques are to slam the animal’s head against the bumper of a car or bash in the skull. For joeys still in the pouch, decapitation is the most common method of killing. These brutal killing methods are completely legal.

“Kangaroos, not shoes!”

Adidas, stop using kangaroo leather and prove that you take animal welfare seriously. Kangaroos, not shoes”, states Vandenbosch.

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