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For immediate release:
May 7, 2003 

For more information:
Lauren Ornelas 530/759-8482
David Blatte, Esq., 510/548-7382

Adidas sued for Breaking California Law
Lawsuit prompted by legislation

San Francisco — According to a lawsuit filed this morning on behalf of Davis-based animal rights group Viva!, sports giant Adidas is in violation of 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 their soccer cleats, including the Adidas Predator.

In addition to Adidas, three retail stores have been named in the suit. Lombardi Sports in San Francisco, Offside Soccer in Sacramento County and Sport Chalet in Los Angeles County.

On August 31, 2002, Viva! hand-delivered a letter to Adidas' USA corporate headquarters in Portland Oregon, notifying them that they were violating California law by selling soccer cleats made from kangaroo skins.

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.

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."

"Adidas is getting away with murder in Australia and California," said lauren Ornelas, US Campaigns Director of Viva!USA. "They are showing the same disregard for California law that the hunters show the baby kangaroos whom they bludgeon to death. "

Attorney David Blatte, who filed the suit on behalf of Viva!, summed up the legal issue: "The California legislature has decided that certain animals need protection. By using kangaroo leather for commercial purposes, Adidas is saying that it doesn't care about animals or about the law."

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 and to view pictures of kangaroo hunting, go to www.savethekangaroo.com.

A copy of the complaint and video footage of kangaroo slaughter are available upon request.