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Why two American congressmen want to ban kangaroo imports to the US

MML
Article image for Why two American congressmen want to ban kangaroo imports to the US

Two American congressmen are pushing for a ban on importing kangaroo meat and leather to the United States.

In a bipartisan effort, Californian Democrat, Salud Carbaja, and a Republican from Pennsylvania, Brian Fitzpatrick, are calling for penalties for those caught importing kangaroo products.

If passed into law, it will be a massive blow to the kangaroo industry, with exports to the US worth an estimated $80 million a year.

Animal Wellness Action president, Wayne Pacelle, says Australia and Canada are the only countries which allow wide-scale killing of native wildlife to trade in their parts globally.

“Canada has the notorious seal hunt,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“The United States has banned the import of those seal pelts since 1972.

“That is one tenth the size of the commercial slaughter of kangaroos.”

Mr Pacelle says he estimates leather from 400,000 kangaroos is used in sports shoes bought by Americans every year.

“If Australia has management issues with kangaroos, deal with those but don’t commercialise the trade in the parts,” he said.

“We don’t allow the trade in ivory, we don’t allow rhino horns, we don’t allow any commercial slaughter for market.”

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