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Animal activists and commercial industry at odds after Nike halts use of kangaroo leather

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Nike is the latest global brand to stop using kangaroo leather in shoe production.The sports apparel company said in a statement it “will stop making any product with kangaroo leather in 2023”.It will debut a new version of its popular football boot, the Tiempo Legend Elite, with a new synthetic material “that is a better performance solution and replaces the use of kangaroo leather”.A bill that would ban the sale of kangaroo parts was introduced in January in the US state of Oregon, where Nike has its headquarters, aimed at sportswear manufacturers.The bill would make buying, receiving, selling or commercially exchanging any product containing a part of a dead kangaroo a crime.

A similar bill has been introduced in Connecticut, and California enacted a ban on kangaroo-based products in the 1970s.The German sportswear brand Puma also stopped production of football boots made from kangaroo leather this year.

The companies have joined a lineup of luxury brands such as Versace and Prada who have banned using kangaroo skin.Animal rights activists have long campaigned against commercial killing of kangaroos.“Nike’s announcement that it will end use of kangaroo skins for its athletic shoes is a seismic event in wildlife protection, and tremors will be felt all over the world, especially in Australia where the mass commercial slaughter of kangaroos occurs,” the president of the Centre for a Humane Economy, Wayne Pacelle, said in a statement. Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup The co-founder and director of Kangaroos Alive, Mick McIntyre, said Nike and Puma were doing the right thing.“They are saying, we don’t want to be part of this inhumane slaughter of

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