California is the only state that has a ban on importing kangaroos or products made from kangaroos, and California Assemblywoman Nicole Parra wants to amend the law so it only includes endangered kangaroos — nonendangered kangaroos would be legal to import and sell.
The ban is felt largely in high end soccer cleats which are frequently made from kangaroo hide. The sale of such cleat sin California is currently a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.
Shoe company Adidas has been trying to have the ban overturned for several years without any success.
Parra’s bill would amend the kangaroo ban statute to read,
(b) For purposes of this section, “kangaroo”
means those species of kangaroo that are included under any of the
(1) The federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. Sec.
1531 et. seq.).
(2) The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of
Wild Fauna and Flora.
According to the Associated Press,
[Animal rights group] Viva! International Voice for Animals opposes the bill, saying that Australian hunters cannot differentiate between the types of kangaroos they are killing because they hunt at night.
The full text of the California Assembly Bill 734 can be read here.
Lawmaker wants to end ban on kangaroo imports. Associated Press, April 17, 2005.
In March, Viva! brought its campaign claiming that a vegetarian diet is key to a vigorous sex life to Scotland. The groups claimed that eating a vegetarian diet can prevent impotence and baldness, but a nutrition researcher suggested the group’s claims should be taken with a huge grain of salt.
Viva! director Juliet Gellatley told the Sunday Herald,
People are much more savvy now than they were 10 years ago. Over that time the medical evidence has become much stronger, not just that vegetarians lead a longer life, which they certainly do, but also that they lead a healthier life.
But Dr. Jane Scott, a professor of public health and nutrition at Glasgow University, told the Sunday Herald that the group was vastly overstating the evidence,
It’s hard to tease out the effect of diet as opposed to the other aspects of a person’s lifestyle. A lot of studies focus on cultures that don’t eat meat, but then they might not drink or smoke either, and this is quite important. . . . [And some conditions are largely genetic] The chances are, if your dad was bald, you will be bald too. As for claims that a vegetarian lifestyle cures impotence, I would be extremely dubious and would like to see some proper evidence.
Come on, proper evidence? How would that advance the vegetarian snake oil salesmen?
Forget Viagra . . . vegetables are key to a longer sex life. Paul Dalgarno, Sunday Herald, April 10, 2005.
A number of animal rights groups in California have banded into a new statewide coalition, the California Animal Association, to “represent the interest of animals at the [California] state capitol.”
A press release sent out by the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights announcing the formation of the group said,
After more than a year of planning, CAA was formed to bring a stronger and more cohesive voice for animal protection to Sacramento. Many of the animal welfare and animal rights groups involved in CAA have individually or in small groups worked on legislation to strengthen animal protection laws or to defeat legislation that weakens protections for animals with California.
The members of the coalition include: American Anti-Vivisection Society, Animal Legislative Action Network, Animal Place, Animal Protection Institute, Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, California Animal Defense and Anti-Vivisection League, California Lobby for Animal Welfare, Doctors for Kindness to Animals, Farm Sanctuary, In Defense of Animals, Last Chance for Animals, Orange County People for Animals, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, The Paw Project, United Animal Nations, United Poultry Concerns and Viva! USA.
Animals gain strong and unprecedented voice in Sacramento. Teri Barnato, Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, Press Release, January 12, 2005.
In February, California state Sen. John Burton introduces a bill in the state senate to ban the production of foie gras within that state.
After introducing his bill, Burton told reporters that the force feeding of ducks and geese to produce foie gras should be outlawed,
They put a tube down their throat, down their esophagus, and shoot that food down there, whether they want it or not, cram it right down their gullet. And many places, other countries have banned it. The state of Israel has banned it. I just think it’s the right thing to do.
The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights issued a press release in early February touting a coalition of animal rights groups that will be doing their part to support the bill and asking activists to contact California legislators with their support for the bill. The press release said,
The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR) is working with a coalition of groups including Farm Sanctuary, Viva!USA and LA Lawyers for Animals, as the sponsors of this bill.
. . .
We need your help to ensure that this bill is passed into law and this inhumane practice is ended in our state. There is only one foie gras producer in California (Sonoma Foie Gras), but they’ve already hired an attorney to work on their behalf and have recruited exclusive restaurateurs to fight for this high-priced luxury item made from diseased ducks.
The full text of the bill can be read here.
Help ban force feeding of ducks in California. Press Release, Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights, February 2004.
Sacre bleu! No more foie gras from California?. Spencer Swartz, Reuters, February 12, 2004.