California ban on kangaroo imports returns
September 14, 2015
A California ban on the import of kangaroo parts will return next year after an eight-year hiatus. [Guardian]
The trade of kangaroo parts currently comprises a $200 million industry in California. Kangaroo skins are used to make some shoes and gloves. Australia also exports kangaroo meat, and some of it is used to make pet food.
In 1971, California banned the import of kangaroo products. The state adopted a moratorium in 2007 that lifted the ban.
The moratorium expires at the end of 2015. Assemblyman Mike Gipson introduced a bill to extend kangaroo trade in California, but the state’s legislative session ended Friday without the proposal passing.
The ban on kangaroo imports will return despite a lobbying effort by the Australian government. Australia’a department of agriculture reportedly paid $143,000 to the Kangaroo Industry of Australia, which was then supposed to give the money to American firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips in order to lobby members of the Legislature.
Kim Beazley, Australia’s ambassador to the United States, also advocated for the continuation of kangaroo trade in California. Beazley has stated the four species of kangaroos that are harvested have a population of about 50 million, or twice the human population of Australia.
Opponents of the kangaroo trade say it is cruel and that kangaroos are not as abundant as the Australian government claims.
“Californians want nothing to do with Australia’s massive commercial slaughter of millions of these wonderful creatures every year,” said Wayne Pacelle, the chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States.