Kangaroo Protection Act
Representatives Salud Carbajal (D-Calif) and Brian Fitzpatrick R-Penn) have introduced the Kangaroo Protection Act, HR 917, a bill to ban the sale of kangaroo body parts in the United States. This measure aims to curb the massive trade in kangaroo skins used by Nike, adidas, Puma and other companies for manufacturing soccer shoes (“cleats”).
Two million wild kangaroos and joeys are killed each year in their native habitats in Australia to meet this demand for athletic shoe brands. It is the largest commercial slaughter of terrestrial wildlife in the world. The United States is the second largest importer of kangaroo skin soccer shoes in the world, behind only the European Union.
There is no need to kill kangaroos for soccer cleats. The top models of soccer cleats are made from synthetic and plant-based materials, precluding the tremendous individual suffering inflicted on wild kangaroos.
The Kangaroo Protection Act would:
- Make it illegal to bring any kangaroo or kangaroo product into the United States for commercial purposes, with an intent to sell or sell or introduce any kangaroo or kangaroo product into interstate commerce.
- Direct the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with other agencies, to issue regulations to carry out the Act and enforce its provisions once enacted.
- Allow for citizens to bring actions in federal court to enforce the Act as long as they first provide advance notice to the Secretary 60 days prior to filing suit. Citizens may not bring their own actions if the government is diligently prosecuting violators.
- Provide for criminal penalties of up to one year in jail and $10,000 in fines for each violation of the Act and civil penaltie of up to $10,000 per violation. The Act also allows for forfeiture of any kangaroo or kangaroo products in the possession of violators.