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August 21, 2003
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Update on Adidas Kangaroo Lawsuit
San Francisco In May of this year the California-based animal rights group, Viva!USA, filed a lawsuit against sports giant Adidas. The lawsuit was filed based on California Penal Code § 653o, which states that the body parts or products of kangaroos cannot be imported into or sold in the state. Adidas currently uses kangaroo skins to make some of its soccer cleats, including the Adidas Predator.
In addition to Adidas, three retail stores were named in the suit. Lombardi Sports in San Francisco, Offside Soccer in Sacramento County and Sport Chalet in Los Angeles County.
Lombardi Sports in San Francisco has agreed to stop selling kangaroo skinned shoes and follow the law until the lawsuit concludes. In addition to this, Adidas Promotional Retail Operations, Inc., which is the Adidas Corporation of California, has admitted to importing and selling athletic shoes with kangaroo parts. Hearing is set for early November.
"We are pleased that Lombardi has decided to abide by the law," said lauren Ornelas, US Campaigns Director of Viva!USA. "It is shocking that Adidas continues to disregard the law of California and still sell kangaroo skinned shoes in our state. Their disregard for California law proves they have no respect for the lives of kangaroos nor for the will of the people of California."
"The Australian government allows the bludgeoning of baby kangaroos after they have been torn from their mother's pouches -- just to make shoes," said Ornelas.
With 70% of the market for professional soccer cleats, Adidas is a driving force behind the slaughter. Synthetic materials are currently available to make soccer cleats, and many companies use them - including Adidas.
Earlier this year Senator Dennis Hollingsworth introduced Senate Bill 233 to repeal the part of §653o that protects kangaroos, crocodiles, and alligators. It was defeated in committee but will be introduced again next year. Red kangaroos are being killed three times faster than they are able to reproduce.
Viva! is coordinating the next set of international events against Adidas set for Saturday, August 30. Viva!, an international organization with USA Headquarters in Davis, CA is organizing a global campaign against Adidas use of kangaroo skins. For further information on this campaign, see a copy of the complaint and video of the hunting, go to www.savethekangaroo.com.