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For immediate release:
August 27, 2003

For more Information:
lauren Ornelas 530/759-8482/530-848-4021

Adidas Customers Dismayed by Kangaroo Slaughter

Activists to Present Shoe Company with Video Showing "Shock on the Street"

Portland, Ore.—Shoe giant Adidas will get a graphic dose of reality TV when animal activists present company officials with a video of customers around the country watching shocking footage of kangaroos being shot and baby kangaroos being pulled from their mothers’ pouches. The company, which continues to use kangaroo skin to make shoes, is the target of an international campaign that recently screened slaughter footage on city streets in six U.S. cities. Activists also videotaped interviews with Adidas customers and members of the public and includes many wearing Adidas products, who expressed disgust after learning about company policies. Many people on the tape pledged to stop buying Adidas until the company stops using kangaroo skins.

When: Friday, August 29, noon

Where: Adidas Headquarters at 5055 N. Greeley Avenue, Portland

"Adidas may be able to ignore the death cries of the millions of kangaroos killed by hunters, but the company cannot disregard its customers," said lauren Ornelas, US Campaigns Director, Viva!USA. "Adidas can do the right thing by simply switching to synthetic materials."The International Day Against Adidas on Saturday, August 30, features events in other U.S. cities, as well as in the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, and Russia. In the USA, events are happening in Birmingham, AL; Berkeley, Sacramento, Santa Monica, Santa Rosa, and San Diego, CA; Cincinnati, OH; Houston and Dallas, TX; and Rockville, MD.

Saturday’s event in Portland will take place at noon at the Adidas store at 5020 NE Martin Luther King Blvd.

In May, the California-based animal rights group Viva!USA filed a lawsuit against Adidas based on California Penal Code § 653o, which states that the body parts or products of kangaroos cannot be imported or sold in the state. "The Australian government allows the bludgeoning of baby kangaroos after they have been torn from their mother's pouches just to make shoes," Ornelas said. "But California law doesn’t allow the products of this cruelty to be sold."

With 70% of the market for professional soccer cleats, Adidas is a driving force behind this slaughter. Synthetic materials are currently available to make soccer cleats, and many companies use them - including Adidas.

Viva!, an international organization with its USA Headquarters in Davis, CA, is organizing a global campaign against Adidas’ use of kangaroo skins. For more information, including a copy of the legal complaint and video of the hunting, go to www.savethekangaroo.com.