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For Immediate Release: For more information contact:

February 3, 2003 lauren Ornelas 530/759-8482

Adidas: No Friend of Kangaroo Jack

Portland, OR... On Wednesday February 5, campaigners from animal rights organizations Viva!, In Defense of Animals and the Animal Protection Institute will be outside Adidas USA's Portland headquarters to highlight Adidas's involvement in kangaroo slaughter. Adidas is the biggest buyer of kangaroo skins in the world, using them to make soccer cleats. On the same day, Viva! campaigners will also stage protests outside Adidas's headquarters in Australia, England, and at their global HQ in Germany.

When: Wednesday, February 5 at 10:30am – 11:30am

Location: 5055 Greeley Avenue, Portland

Saturday, February 8 sees Viva! staging the 2nd International Day of Action against Adidas. Local Viva! supporters will encourage retailers not to sell kangaroo skin products by peacefully demonstrating outside sports shops as well as spreading the word in front of movie theatres showing Kangaroo Jack. Events are planned in over a dozen cities across the USA. Viva!'s 1st Day of Action against Adidas on August 31, 2002 was supported by animal activists across the Europe and Australia.

Each year, hunters are licensed to shoot millions of adult kangaroos for their meat and skins. Baby ‘joeys' - worthless to the industry - are ripped from their dead mothers' pouches and bludgeoned, decapitated or simply abandoned to die of starvation. Australia is currently in the midst of one of the worst droughts on record and as bush fires are raging across the country, decimating kangaroo numbers, yet the kangaroo industry continues to shoot millions more.

The Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia recently confirmed the link between sports shoe manufacturers and the kangaroo massacre by stating: "This [soccer cleat] industry is vital to the kangaroo industry. Without it underpinning kangaroo skin prices the entire industry would be at risk." With 70% of the market for professional soccer cleats, Adidas is the driving force behind the slaughter. Despite the fact that rival sporting goods company Nike produces a 100% synthetic soccer cleat worn by Ronaldo, the world's number one soccer player, and a range of cleats made from synthetic kangaroo skin worn by other world class players, Adidas insists on using kangaroo skin to make several models of sports shoe, including the Predator.

"Kangaroos are under attack from all directions: the drought, the fires and the hunter's rifle," says Viva! campaigner, lauren Ornelas. "Adidas is showing itself to be devoid of compassion and ethics by continuing to use kangaroo skin. The Predator boot is living up to its name, leaving a trail of blood in the outback. Don't support the suffering - boycott Adidas until they stop slaughtering wildlife for profit."

For further information on this campaign and to view pictures of kangaroo hunting, go to www.savethekangaroo.com.