by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in the Daily Sentinel
In Australia, hunters kill kangaroos for their hides, which are used to make athletic shoes, especially soccer shoes. At least two American congressmen are hopping mad about it, and aim to put a stop to it.
Reps. Salud Carbajal (D-California) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania) introduced a bill called the Kangaroo Protection Act, which would ban the sale of kangaroo parts, or the shoes made from them, in the U.S. They are backed by a political action committee called Animal Wellness Action, and a coalition of virtually all major animal welfare organizations.
It isn’t that Australia’s largest mammal is near extinction — there are nearly 50 million of them. The annual sustainable harvest is carefully regulated by the government, just as is hunting in every state of the U.S. Rather, the concern stems from something much more emotional. Kangaroos are cute, they are the most iconic emblem of Australia, as is the bald eagle in the U.S., and perhaps worst of all, the killing includes juveniles, known as joeys.