World Animal Protection (WAP) has moved world-famous ice skates brand, Viking, to immediately stop using kangaroo leather. The Netherlands-based company supplies skates to many of the Olympic athletes currently at the Games, and kangaroo leather is used in most of their products. After months of calling on Viking to stop fuelling this cruelty, WAP was able to capitalise on the Olympics to raise public awareness about the brutal slaughter of wild kangaroos across Australia.
After a surge in media coverage, Viking announced that as a result of our pressure, they have decided to officially stop. No new ice skates will be made from kangaroo leather. As a result, the company no longer contributes to the enormous import of kangaroo products into the Netherlands.
Viking’s response was: “Synthetic materials such as imitation leather and plastic are on the rise. We can also make top skates with these materials, so the need for kangaroo leather has disappeared. The new collection, to be presented coming summer, will already be kangaroo-free.”
Dennis Vink, Wildlife Campaign Manager at World Animal ProtectionNetherlands, says: “It is fantastic that Viking is taking its responsibility in response to our campaign. A good example which, hopefully, will be followed by other companies soon. Kangaroos are not products; they are wild animals. Synthetic materials are the perfect substitute and we see that the sports world is committing to this. Hopefully, the use of all types of leather will soon be a thing of the past.”
The hunting kangaroos is the largest commercial killing of land-based mammals in the world. IKPA welcomes this move by Viking and other retailers to transition away from kangaroo leather and no longer buy into the cruelty of this industry.