Ethical Kangaroo Skins? Here's a Surprising Eco-Friendly Industry Saving Rural Australia

Fabri Blacklock

The Versace fashion house recently announced it had stopped using kangaroo skins in its fashion collections after coming under pressure from animal rights group LAV.

Kangaroo meat and skin has an annual production value of around A$174 million, with skins used in the fashion and shoe manufacturing industries.

There are legitimate questions regarding the ethical manner in which kangaroos are killed. But Indigenous people have long utilised the skins of kangaroos and possums. Versace’s concerns may have been allayed by understanding more about our traditions and practices.

Reviving skills

There has always been concern around how native animals are treated while alive and how they are killed to cause as little distress, pain and suffering as possible. Campaigners say 2.3 million kangaroos in Australia are hunted each year. Official sources cite this figure as the national quota, but put the number actually killed at around 1.7 million.

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