Media release published at February 11, 2021

Viva! Backs Hollywood Film Exposing Nike Kangaroo Slaughter

  • Viva! – the UK’s leading vegan campaigning charity – backs short film exposing Nike kangaroo cruelty.
  • The shocking film shines light on massacre of two million animals for football boots.
  • The 60 second film was created by Hollywood producer Gavin Palone and director Derek Ambrosi.
  • The film comes as two US congressmen introduce a new kangaroo protection bill, the Kangaroo Protection Act, to ban the sale of kangaroo body parts in the United States. If passed, the Kangaroo Protection Act 2021 will make it illegal to exploit kangaroos in the US and impose penalties for violations.

UK-based animal welfare charity Viva! have spent over two decades campaigning against the sale of kangaroo meat, ensuring that all UK supermarkets are kangaroo meat free. Now, the charity is backing an innovative short film about kangaroo leather, created by Hollywood producer Gavin Palone (Gilmore Girls and Panic Room) and director Derek Ambrosi.


The hard-hitting film exposes the hidden truth behind Nike shoes made from kangaroo skin. Running at 60-seconds long, the short film lays bare Nike’s supply chain – using reverse sequencing to follow the production of their kangaroo skin boots. Opening on a soccer player kicking a ball into a goal, the film casts an eye on the supply chain and manufacturing process, revealing how wild kangaroos are shot and stripped of their skin in the Australian outback.


The market for kangaroo skin soccer shoes is at the core of the largest terrestrial wildlife slaughter on the planet. Though K-Leather is sold throughout the world, the U.S. is the second largest market, behind only the European Union.


“I wanted to expose the bloody truth that is being hidden from well-intentioned consumers who may have no idea how their ‘K-leather’ shoes are being made,” said Polone. “Nike can no longer hide its responsibility for this atrocity.”  


The film concludes by noting that “Nike Profits. Kangaroos Die.” 


The film was produced in collaboration with the Centre for a Humane Economy and forms part of a global campaign to persuade Nike to end its role in the killing of two million wild kangaroos each year.


The campaign came to life after raging bush fires engulfed parts of Australia and burned or displaced three billion animals, including millions of kangaroos. The public rallied together to raise funds to save the koalas and kangaroos, but few people realise the extent of the ongoing kangaroo massacre for the sake of soccer boots.


“Nike officials are not pulling the trigger, but they might as well be,” noted Wayne Pacelle, President of the Center for a Humane Economy. “Using spotlights and night-vision rifle scopes, hired guns kill entire kangaroo families in the dead of night so they can sell the skins to the world’s best-known athletic shoe company.” 


“We’re no longer making hats from herons and egrets, we no longer decorate our living rooms with ivory trinkets, and we shouldn’t wear athletic shoes made from the skins of kangaroos. There’s just no need for it. Every one of these companies already sells soccer cleats made from fabrics not stripped from the backs and bodies of wildlife.” 


The film adds to mounting pressure from consumers to end the use of kangaroo skin, with many clothing manufacturers, such as Versace, Prada and Gucci, committing to go K-leather free.


Sports stars are adding their voices to the campaign, including Dotsie Bausch, Olympic cycling medallist, Heather Mitts Feeley, soccer gold medallist, and David Verburg, track and field gold medallist. Speaking on behalf of the athletes, Dotsie Bausch said:


“We don’t treat sports as a cordoned-off enterprise set apart from the rest of world and its swirl of social concerns. That means we care about the things we wear, the supply chain that allows them to be fabricated, and the precious world that we all inhabit with animals.” 


Juliet Gellatley, Viva! founder and director added:


“Viva! has been campaigning against the sale of kangaroo meat since the 1990s. We have achieved numerous successes in the removal of kangaroo products from our supermarket shelves and are to announce that all UK supermarkets are now kangaroo meat free. In 2003, Viva!USA filed a lawsuit against Adidas America Inc and three sports shops for illegally selling kangaroo-skin Predator boots in California ⁠–⁠ a case which is still making waves now. This is an issue very close to my heart and I strongly support the Center for a Humane Economy’s campaign against Nike.” 

Notes to Editors

Viva! is a registered charity 1037486

Viva! is Europe’s largest vegan campaigning charity

For comments, interviews or more information please contact

See the one-minute film:

Sign the petition:

For more information about the Center for a Humane Economy, contact Mitchell Fox on

Supplementary Information: 

  • Nike is one of seven major athletic shoe companies making soccer shoes from kangaroos.
  • Other manufacturers include adidas, Puma, New Balance, Mizuno, Pantofola d’Oro, Umbro and Lotto.
  • The Center for a Humane Economy has developed a first-of-its-kind list identifying kangaroo skin soccer shoes, or “cleats,” listing 72 models. The list is here.
  • Australia’s kangaroo killing guidelines, which are voluntary, instruct shooters of female kangaroos to check the pouch for joeys – then to bludgeon them to death. This is the fate of hundreds of thousands of dependent young each year.
Scroll up