In July, the California State Supreme Court sided with animal rights group, Viva! International Voice of Animals in a lawsuit against adidas over the sale of kangaroo leather shoes within the state (see SEW_0731). After the decision, which the Court seemed to make more on the basis of states’ rights than any other reasoning, it was left to the state’s legislative arm to tackle the issue. Last week, the California State Senate and Assembly passed Senate Bill 880, repealing the 37-year ban on the “importation or sale of kangaroo parts or products in California.” The ban included the sale of kangaroo leather soccer shoes, which is legal in the nation’s other 49 states and now also in California.

The bill will now sit on Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk to be signed into law or vetoed by October 12, at which point inaction will bring the bill into law. Both houses of the California legislature showed strong support for the bill. The Senate voted 27-8 in favor of the bill, and the Assembly was 44-27 in favor. The bill repeals penalties for violation of the ban until January 1, 2011. While making kangaroo leather available to retailers and consumers in the state, the wording gives a nod to the animal rights groups with a mechanism to monitor and control the number of kangaroos lawfully harvested during the life of the bill. Should this provision be violated, the ban would go back into effect.