California is the only state that has a ban on importing kangaroos or products made from kangaroos, and California Assemblywoman Nicole Parra wants to amend the law so it only includes endangered kangaroos — nonendangered kangaroos would be legal to import and sell.
The ban is felt largely in high end soccer cleats which are frequently made from kangaroo hide. The sale of such cleat sin California is currently a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.
Shoe company Adidas has been trying to have the ban overturned for several years without any success.
Parra’s bill would amend the kangaroo ban statute to read,
(b) For purposes of this section, “kangaroo”
means those species of kangaroo that are included under any of the
(1) The federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. Sec.
1531 et. seq.).
(2) The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of
Wild Fauna and Flora.
According to the Associated Press,
[Animal rights group] Viva! International Voice for Animals opposes the bill, saying that Australian hunters cannot differentiate between the types of kangaroos they are killing because they hunt at night.
The full text of the California Assembly Bill 734 can be read here.
Lawmaker wants to end ban on kangaroo imports. Associated Press, April 17, 2005.