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Adidas CEO slams ‘terrible’ kangaroo leather industry and pledges to stop purchasing skins from Australia

Adidas CEO Björn Gulden has called the commercial kangaroo leather industry “terrible” at a recent shareholder meeting, suggesting the company will stop purchasing skins from Australia.

While this admission, along with the claim, “We will certainly, maybe, switch faster than you think,” isn’t exactly a pledge, animal rights groups are calling for the chief to stand by these convictions, made amidst protests against the practice of using kangaroo skins in football boots.

“Adidas’s CEO has publicly acknowledged the mass shooting of kangaroos in Australia is cruel and implied that the company may stop purchasing skins from kangaroos shot in the wild,” Jennifer Skiff, from the Washington D.C-based Center for a Humane Economy, said.

“We encourage him to make that announcement soon, since the worldwide animal welfare community is deeply concerned that Adidas is an outlier on this issue and its sourcing of skins violates its publicly stated policies about the humane treatment of animals.”

Adidas pledged to end its role in the kangaroo-skin trade in 2012, but has continued to use the leather in its products.

“Adidas must divorce itself from the world’s largest slaughter of land mammals for a product nobody needs and that its competitors have already shunned,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Center for a Humane Economy.

“The only reason the commercial shooting of kangaroos and the orphaning of their joeys occurs is because non-Australian companies like Adidas buy up the skins. End the purchase of the skins and the commercial kill collapses.”

Last year, Nike, New Balance, and Puma all announced plans to stop participating in the commercial skin trade.

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