By Dr George Wilson (Australian National University) and Dr John Read (University of Adelaide)
The US Congress is considering a proposed law to ban the import and sale of kangaroo parts. Backed by a campaign called Kangaroos Are Not Shoes, the bill is aimed at stopping Nike, Adidas and other big brands from using kangaroo leather in their products.
Supporters of the bill decry the “mass slaughter of kangaroos – more than two million a year”.
We have a combined 80 years experience in kangaroo management. In our view, this proposal is one of the most comprehensive own goals in history of improving kangaroo welfare. Our research shows the kangaroo industry leads to better kangaroo welfare, more stable populations and improved conservation outcomes.
Weakening the industry will result in more kangaroo suffering, not less. If the bill succeeds, it would further suppress global demand for kangaroo products, and allow unregulated, uncontrolled and unmonitored killing by amateur hunters to flourish.