Conservationists, industry warn Oregon legislature against kangaroo product ban

Conservationists and wildlife experts say the proposed ban on kangaroo-based products by Oregon legislators will only lead to more suffering and uncontrolled killing of Australian marsupials.

Senate Bill 764, introduced by Sen. Floyd Prozanska (D.Eugene), bans the sale of kangaroo parts and products in Oregon and threatens fines or imprisonment.

The bill primarily targets Nike, which is headquartered in Oregon and uses kangaroo leather in the manufacture of its soccer boots.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Prozansky said, “While we understand that this law may have financial implications for some Oregon shoe makers, given the balance, Oregon should take the humanitarian side of this issue.” Humanitarian Economic Center.

“There are other materials that can be used to make these high-end cleats.”

Epoch Times photo
Nike shoes on display at a sporting goods store in New York City, NY, May 14, 2019. (Mike Segar/Reuters)

The senator also said it was “unconscionable” that millions of Australian animals are being killed to make products.

Meanwhile, the center’s director, Scott Bexted, argued that synthetic shoes sold much better than kangaroo-based shoes.

“The commercial exploitation of millions of kangaroos, including kangaroos in their mother’s pouch, is wasteful, inhumane and violates the values ​​of most Oregonians.” He said.

In practice, however, Australian authorities forbidden to kill In the case of apparent juvenile kangaroo females, juvenile kangaroos can only be killed by sanctioned methods if the female is killed.

Similar laws have been introduced in New Jersey and Connecticut. In 2021, the House of Representatives also considered such legislation.

Total Lack of Understanding, Experts Say

The move united conservationists and Australia’s kangaroo products industry, with both groups warning that local authorities were already suffering from an iconic animal overdose.

Australia’s Kangaroo Industry Association (KIAA) said it would speak to the Australian embassy in Washington, DC about the “misinformation” fueling lawmakers in Oregon and Connecticut.

“We believe the recent move was sparked by emotional misinformation by animal activist groups targeting U.S. politicians,” KIAA Executive Director Dennis King said in a statement.pdf).

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A kangaroo is seen in the rain on March 22, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“We will call out the misinformation circulating about kangaroo management and focus on managing excess species, including improving biodiversity and sustainability, reducing negative impacts on animal welfare, and reducing waste. It underscores the need to raise more awareness about the benefits of ,” he said.

The national kangaroo population is currently estimated to be around 40 million, with numbers skyrocketing to up to 50 million during the breeding season.

King said this is “damaging farmland and habitat, posing a hazard to motorists and suffering from starvation from overgrazing.”

“Without a commercial industry, conservation measures would have to be put in place to control the population of certain species. We have the ability to take advantage of,” he said.

Kangaroo hunting numbers are also set by the government and quotas are often not met.

For example, in 2019 authorities set quotas to culminate 6.2 million kangaroos in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, but there are still only 1.6 million Kangaroo harvested.

Better conditions for kangaroos when commercial demand is high

George Wilson, Professor Emeritus of the Australian National University, and John Reid of the University of Adelaide, combined 80 years of experience and research in the field, believe that a robust kangaroo products industry generally results in better conditions for animals. said to have shown that

two people wrote conversation Declining global demand for kangaroos will lead to even more “unregulated, uncontrolled, and unmonitored killings by amateur hunters for their prosperity.”

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Eastern Gray Kangaroo seen at Look at Me Now Headland, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia, November 25, 2022. (Matt Jelonek/Getty Images)

They said too many kangaroos could pose a serious problem for the “Endangered Fauna, Flora and Vegetation Programme.”

“It also undermines the ability of landowners to manage their property. During droughts, for example, kangaroos eat precious pasture land, making it difficult for farmers to keep their cattle alive.”

Moreover, experts have found that demand for non-commercial selection increases when commercial industries weaken.

“[Farmers] Use amateur shooters and illegal poisons to reduce the number of kangaroos on your property. ”