Action Needed for Kangaroos in California
WHAT: SB 880 would allow the sale of kangaroo skins and body parts in the state of California.
STATUS: It passed the Senate and the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. It has two more steps: to be voted on by the entire the Assembly and then signed by the Governor.
WHY WE MUST STOP THIS BILL: SB 880 would erase a law that was implemented in 1970 to protect kangaroos by prohibiting the sale of their skins.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Please do 2 things:
1. Call, email, or fax your state Assemblymember today and ask that thet vote NO on SB 880. If you previously contacted your Assemblymember on behalf of the kangaroos, please do so again and remind them of your opposition to this bill.
2. Contact the Governor and urge him to veto (oppose) SB 880 should it pass the Assembly.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
HOW TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR: If you do not know the name or contact information of your Assemblymember, go to www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html.
1.Enter your zip code and press “search” to find your state officials.
2.When contacting your Assemblymember, please use the “Capitol Office” information.
3.You can also click on your Assemblymember’s name for further contact details (including email addresses for most legislators).
TALKING POINTS TO USE IN YOUR COMMUNICATION
•Kangaroos are not farmed. They are taken from the wild in Australia, and exist only in Australia.
•Kangaroos are shot at night by hunters. The hunters are not always able to distinguish between those who are “approved” to be killed and those who are endangered. In Queensland, Australia, the Western Grey Kangaroo is protected, but can easily be mistaken for the Eastern Grey who is allowed to be hunted.
•SB 880 would change the existing law that protects certain “look-alike” species, so that Californians do not unwittingly contribute to the extinction of a species.
•If a mother kangaroo is killed, her baby is taken from the pouch and killed by a heavy blow to the head (according to the Australian Code of Practice). Note: similar methods are used in Canada’s seal hunt; both California and Federal laws prohibit the sale of seal products from Canada because of the cruel killing methods used.
•According to Australian government statistics, kangaroo populations continue to decline and are now the lowest they have been in over a decade. Current populations are below half of what they were in 2001. (Source: Sustainable Wildlife Industries, Dept. of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra, 2006).
•Reintroducing the trade in kangaroo skins into California would be disastrous, as there are already too few kangaroos to meet the industry's demands.
•SB 880 was recently amended that seemingly limits the number of kangaroos that can be killed in a given year. However, the amendment does not provide any real protection for kangaroos. In fact, it could allow more kangaroos to be killed to supply soccer cleats to Californians.