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Becks says NO to kangaroo skin

One of the world's best known celebrities, David Beckham, has paid heed to an appeal from animal rights groups and given up wearing football boots made out of kangaroo skin.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 18:14 IST

England football captain and one of the world's best known celebrities, David Beckham has paid heed to an appeal from animal rights groups and given up wearing football boots made by a famous sports goods company out of kangaroo skin imported from Australia.

Beckham will however continue to wear adidas Predators, but only those made from synthetic materials.

The "People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals" applauded the footballer even as a spokesman of the animal rights group said: "It's wonderful to see a celebrity turning his back on leather and using synthetics."

According to the Independent, he reportedly made the decision after being sent a graphic video by animal rights groups, which showed how baby kangaroos were pulled from their mother's pouch and beaten to death during the annual kangaroo "harvest", worth more than 13 million pounds a year to Australia.

The film showed a cruel process of killing the mother-kangaroo and its baby before their skin is detached from their bodies and taken to Adidas factories in the developing world where it is turned into football boots. Finally the Predators made of kangaroo skin are sold to thousands of fans in Britain for 100 pounds a pair.

The adidas boots became the best-known football boot in the world after former Liverpool midfielder Craig Johnston invented them in 1993. The original boots model used synthetic products, not animal skins. But, when it became public that adidas had switched over to kangaroo skin three years ago, Johnston said he felt the firm had made the wrong decision.

Justin Kerswell, a campaigner at animal rights group "Viva" said: "There is no way you can justify butchering millions of kangaroos to turn them into sports shoes. It doesn't matter whether the kangaroo industry, adidas and the Australian government tell us that every kangaroo dies painlessly, we know that is not true."

First Published: Feb 06, 2006 18:14 IST