A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Aug 31, 2015

Kangaroos and Californians

Courtesy Google Images
California has prohibited the trade of kangaroo parts since 1971. However, lobbying from the Australian government, sports equipment manufacturers and the kangaroo industry led to a temporary exemption of this longstanding ban. 

Kangaroo skins are most commonly used for high-end soccer cleats, gloves and other leather products. The existence of new high-tech synthetic materials have rendered kangaroo leather unnecessary for superior performance. In fact, these new materials and greater awareness of the inherent cruelty in the kangaroo hunting industry, have inspired some professional soccer players like David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo to stop wearing cleats made from kangaroo skin.

This exemption is due to expire at the end of 2015 thus reinstating the ban! We, along with a multitude of other organizations around the world, are watching closely to see if a move is made by Australia to submit legislation that would extend the exemption and/or repeal the ban. We have taken some preemptive measures to deal with this and are poised to respond instantly if such legislation is introduced.

The mechanics of kangaroo hunting are cruel and in its current state is jeopardizing the viability of the species.

Essentially, if our legislators do nothing, the ban will be reinstated. Seems like a job they can do!!

Aug 10, 2015

In the echo of Cecil's final roar

Aaron Blaise's (Lion King animator ) tribute to Cecil the lion,
who was killed recently.
The utter tragedy of Cecil’s’ death notwithstanding, interesting things have resulted. 

Air lines have announced a refusal to ship such animal trophies from Africa. The list includes JetBlue, CargoJet, Air Canada, Air France, American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Comair, Delta Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Ethiopian Airways, Etihad, IAG Cargo, Iberia Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar Airways Singapore Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, and WestJet with hopefully more to come.

Newscasters pundits, celebrities, and corporate executives have loudly denounced the "sport" of trophy hunting. People around the world through petitions and social medial have condemned the practice as well.

So - what have we learned? We learned that ideologues aside, the enlightened position of this country is against trophy hunting and for the protection of wild animals. This bodes well for legislative and, perhaps future behavioral changes on behalf of and by the citizenry. Consumers are also understanding the power of their shopping dollar and reward those who peddle their goods with a conscience. Public and peer pressures works! Just look at the SeaWorld, puppy mill and circus cases.

We have also learned 2 more things. First, steady, rational, articulate advocacy on behalf of animal welfare is working and effectuating positive global change. Second, criminals, idiots, abusers and offenders almost always hang themselves and help our cause!

Someday, maybe we can effectuate positive reforms without the prerequisite of a horrific act.