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For immediate release: For more information:
December 29, 2003 lauren Ornelas 530/759-8482

Viva!USA Asks New Adidas CEO to make a New Year’s Resolution:
Phase Out Kangaroo Skins in 2004!
Newspapers in Australia reveal drop in kangaroo populations

Portland, OR…California-based organization Viva!USA has sent a letter to the new Adidas CEO, Erich Stamminger, asking the company to stop using kangaroo skins to make shoes.

“Gone are the days when Adidas can claim that kangaroos are plentiful, as reports in Australia are revealing that their numbers are plummeting,” said lauren Ornelas. “To avoid endangering this species, all Adidas has to do is simply use synthetic materials.”

According to the Daily Telegraph (New South Wales newspaper), "Kangaroo populations south of Sydney will be commercially hunted for the first time despite numbers across the state plummeting to their lowest in more than 20 years." The paper goes on to state that, "The Government is also expected to announce next week the 2004 quota figures which show in some regions, kill quotas have already increased to as much as 80 percent of the population."

The Daily Telegraph obtained a draft copy of the quota submission compiled by the National Parks and Wildlife Services that revealed that, "[K]angaroo numbers are as low as they have been in 22 years." A further report, a study into the feasibility of extending the culling zones into Southeastern New South Wales, claims pressure from sheep and cattle grazing is behind the push to begin commercial harvesting in these areas.

In a letter sent today, Viva!USA campaign director lauren Ornelas writes:

“This is a serious issue, and one in which Adidas plays a critical role. You can use your influence to make a positive impact on our world as well as improve the image of Adidas in the eyes of millions…We want to wish you a wonderful New Year and express our hope that Adidas will make a New Year’s Resolution and begin phasing out the kangaroo skins starting in 2004. That would truly be a move in a positive direction.”

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, including a copy of the complaint and video of the hunting, go to www.savethekangaroo.com.