In 2010 Wayne Rooney, John Terry and Frank Lampard came under fire (along with other major football stars) over the slaughter of baby kangaroos to make football boots. As a result of pressure from animal welfare groups, Viva! and the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, a Nike spokesperson confirmed that they would stop using the skins of kangaroos in their football boots by claiming the company was moving towards eradicating the use of kangaroo leather altogether.
In 2012 Adidas promised to phase out the use of kangaroo leather by 98 per cent over the following 12 months, due to concerns over cruelty and pressure from animal lovers. It was a move that would without a doubt save the lives of countless kangaroos and their baby joeys.
In 2018 kangaroo leather football boots remain widely available in high-street stores.
Write to Adidas, Nike, Umbro and Puma!
Despite encouraging claims that football boot manufacturers are moving away from using kangaroo leather, all four of the main companies (Adidas, Nike, Umbro and Puma) still use it to some degree. Write to them (use our suggested letter/email below or write your own) to give them a polite shove towards a cruelty-free future, urging them to go 100 per cent synthetic.
Over a million baby kangaroos (joeys) die each year – and the sale of football boots made out of kangaroo leather helps drive this horrendous slaughter.
Thank you to everyone who has written so far and continues to keep up the pressure.
Make your voice heard!
“Dear [name of company]
I am writing to ask that you discontinue the use of kangaroo leather in your football boots. It is this trade which helps drive what is currently the biggest massacre of land animals on the planet.
Population estimates from 2017 put the numbers of kangaroos in Australia at just over 46.1 million; down by over 11 million from 2001 when there was an estimated 57.4 million. Worryingly a drop has been seen in all four species that are hunted. Yet still, over six million kangaroos are earmarked for slaughter each year. This figure takes no account of the hundreds of thousands of baby ‘Joeys’, who are either left to die from starvation or are removed from their dead mother’s pouches and clubbed to death with iron pipes.
An adult female kangaroo will usually have two youngsters with her: a baby kangaroo in pouch and an adolescent at foot. You say that you are reassured by the Australian Government’s guidelines for ‘humanely’ killing kangaroos. However, these same guidelines advocate pulling baby joeys from their dying mother’s pouches and smashing them around the head and/or decapitating them. The adolescents are meant to be shot, but many will escape the carnage and die of predation from other wild animals. For almost every female kangaroo killed to make your football boots, two other lives will be snuffed out. Around a million baby kangaroos die each year because of the trade in kangaroo parts. There can be no justification for this.
It is also impossible to truly assess the welfare of the adults that are shot, as this is invariably done at night in the Outback. Away from the glare of public scrutiny, millions are shot every year – and the Australian RSPCA has estimated that around 100,000 adults are not killed humanely and some may temporarily survive with horrific wounds, such as having their jaws shot off.
Just because there may be a demand for kangaroo leather does not make the trade in their skins morally acceptable. Especially when you already make excellent boots made from synthetic versions.
Please kick cruelty out of football once-and-for-all and commit to ending the use of kangaroo leather in all your football boots.
Until this happens, I will boycott your company and encourage and of my friends and family to do likewise.
[Your name and address]”