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Animal Rights Organisation Calls David Beckham “Insensitive” and “Thick-Skinned”

06 September 2002

London - In a scathing letter to David Beckham, international campaigns organisation Viva! (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals) criticises the soccer star for having his baby son’s name embroidered on to a new pair of kangaroo skin football boots.

This year alone, 7 million adult kangaroos will be commercially shot for the meat and leather industries - the largest massacre of land animals on the planet. The worthless byproducts of this callous but lucrative business are the million or more baby ‘joeys’ who will be dragged from their dead mothers’ pouches and killed by being stamped on, hit repeatedly, or decapitated

Despite attempts by Viva! to persuade David to switch to synthetic, cruelty-free alternatives, he still chooses to be sponsored by Adidas and to wear their Predator Mania kangaroo skin boots. John Kelly, spokesperson for the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia, recently admitted sports shoe manufacturers are to blame for mass slaughter of kangaroos, stating: "This [soccer boot] industry is vital to the kangaroo industry. Without it underpinning kangaroo skin prices the entire industry would be at risk”. The second largest sporting goods company in the world with 70 per cent of the market for professional football boots, Adidas is the driving force behind the bloodshed.

“Only last week David went on record as saying he and Victoria are against killing animals but he seems to be selective in his compassion because he blatantly doesn’t care about kangaroos,” says Viva! campaigner Claudia Tarry. “Emblazoning his children’s names on a pair of shoes that may have left both a mother and baby kangaroo dead is insensitive to say the least. There’s no doubt about it, either his skin is as thick as that used to make his football boots or he is making too much money from his endorsement to care. We can only hope that Brooklyn and Romeo grow up with a better set of values.”

For further information on Viva!’s campaign to stop the kangaroo killing, go to www.savethekangaroo.com or call 01273 777688.