Bill lifts ban on kangaroo leather items

first_imgBy Don Thompson THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SACRAMENTO – California would end its unique ban on importing or selling kangaroo-skin products under a bill the state Senate sent to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday. Schwarzenegger, who favors exotic-skin cowboy boots, has not taken a position on whether he will sign the bill. The governor owns snakeskin and alligator boots, but none made of kangaroo hide, said spokesman Aaron McLear. The federal government ended its 20-year ban on importing kangaroo hides in 1995, after the Australian government said threatened populations had recovered. The bill was approved on a final 27-7 Senate vote. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The measure would continue California’s prohibition on products made from protected kangaroo species, but allow the use of leather from more plentiful species. Proponents said the Australian government strictly regulates the kangaroo trade, with stiff penalties for individual or corporate violators. California is the only state to ban all kangaroo products, with a penalty of up to six months in jail for selling the items. The state Supreme Court upheld the ban as legal in a July ruling. Kangaroo leather is lighter than other leathers and is most often used in law enforcement gear and high-performance soccer cleats, although soccer megastar David Beckham is among those who have switched to synthetic leather. “This is a great bill for those who think the best use for kangaroos is to make them into soccer shoes,” objected Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica. Animal rights groups allege that hunters still mistakenly shoot endangered species and that some of the animals are shot during night hunting parties or clubbed to death as babies. last_img

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