25 June 2004; for immediate
SPOON IT LIKE BECKHAM
David Beckham's spectacular penalty miss against Portugal on
Thursday night was greeted by animal campaigning group Viva!
as poetic justice
for his endorsement of cruelly-produced kangaroo leather boots.
Beckham's Adidas Predators are made from the skins of kangaroos
shot in the
wild. Viva! campaigns against the kangaroo trade as cruel, ecologically-unwise
Each year, hunters are licensed to shoot millions of adult kangaroos
for their meat and skins. Baby 'joeys' - worthless to the industry
- are ripped from their dead mothers' pouches and bludgeoned,
decapitated or simply abandoned to die of starvation and neglect.
recently suffered one of the worst droughts on record and bush
fires have decimated kangaroo numbers, yet the kangaroo industry
to shoot unabated.
The Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia recently confirmed the link
between sports shoe manufacturers and the kangaroo massacre by stating: "This [soccer
boot] industry is vital to the kangaroo industry. Without it underpinning kangaroo
skin prices the entire industry would be at risk". With 70 per cent of
the market for professional football boots, Adidas is the driving force behind
slaughter. Despite the fact that rival sporting goods company Nike produces
a 100 per cent synthetic boot worn by world class players such as Ruud Van
and even Adidas itself produce synthetic boots, Adidas insists on using kangaroo
skin to make several models of sports shoe.
Viva! campaigner Justin Kerswell said: "Beckham's Predators didn't stop
him from embarrassing himself and the whole of England with a spectacular misfire
which spooned the football high above the goalpost on Thursday night, essentially
sending us crashing out of Euro 2004. Perhaps it was poetic justice: millions
of kangaroos die to produce blood-stained football boots - like those produced
by Adidas, endorsed by Beckham and bought by punters thinking the magic will
rub off on them. There is no magic - just kangaroos suffering ugly, violent
and unnecessary deaths. Surely now it's time for Beckham to stop endorsing
boots and the cruel trade that goes with them."
Notes for Editors: Images of kangaroos and kangaroo shooting are available
Contact: Justin Kerswell on 0117 944 1000