Animal activists in the US have launched legal action against a sports shoe manufacturer trying to stop the trade in kangaroo skins.
Groups called Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy launched the legal action against Soccer Wearhouse.
Soccer Wearhouse is a California-based sportwear and equipment retailer.
The activists claimed the retailer is illegally selling kangaroo-sourced soccer cleats to consumers.
While there is a nation-wide push against the Aussie kangaroo trade, it is California which actually has laws against it.
The state prohibits the sale of the body parts of a number of animals, including kangaroo.
The activists claims a number of retailers, including Soccer Wearhouse, continue to flout the ban by selling soccer cleats (boots) made from kangaroo leather by big suppliers like Puma, Nike, and Adidas.
Sports shoe makers prefer kangaroo leather saying it is stronger and more pliable than other leathers.
Australia has launched a diplomatic campaign in the US to try and counter this growing animals rights push against kangaroo leather and also kangaroo meat imports.
Diplomats have been charged with rebuffing "a myth that persists that commercial kangaroo harvesting is a threat to the species".
Centre for a Humane Economy senior attorney Kate Schultz said retailers were openly flouting the law, putting kangaroo-based cleats on open display in their shops.
"We've provided unmistakable evidence of illegal sales of kangaroo-based products to law enforcement officials, but thus far, there's been little or no action to enforce our anti-wildlife trafficking laws," she said.
"We're taking the alleged violators to court ourselves."
Animal Wellness Action founder Wayne Pacelle said synthetic soccer boots were readily available and outperform those made from the skins of kangaroos.
The US is the second biggest buyer of kangaroo products behind Europe, and the US trade alone is worth about $80 million annually.
About two million kangaroos are harvested in Australia each year depending in state quotas, from a total population estimated to be close to 50 million.
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