Nike didn't respond to KLCC's request for comment, but the company told ESPN last month that it uses kangaroo leather in a "small portion" of its soccer shoes and that it "works with leather suppliers that source animal skins from processors that use sound animal husbandry and humane treatment, whether farmed, domesticated, or wild managed."
Oregon's bill would make it a crime to buy, receive, sell, or commercially exchange “any product containing a part of a dead kangaroo."
Lawmakers in Connecticut have introduced a similar bill this session. A federal ban on kangaroo products was proposed in the U.S. House in 2021, but was not approved.
The ban on “k-leather” would not be without precedent: California enacted a ban on kangaroo-based products in the 1970s.
The commercial harvest of kangaroos in Australia is legal. More than 1.3 million kangaroos were killed for commercial purposes in the country in 2021, KLCC reported, citing the Australia Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. The agency said that number represents less than one-third of the “sustainable quota,” which is the amount it considers could be killed without putting any of the four main kangaroo species at risk.
The U.S. listed several types of kangaroo as “endangered” from the mid-'70s until the mid-'90s, but the animal is considered to have “recovered."
This story was initially published on Jan. 23. It was updated on Jan. 24 to correct the attribution to the original source of the reporting on the bill. Radio station KLCC, not Oregon Public Broadcasting, originally reported the story.