Justices of the California Supreme Court have upheld a state law that prohibits soccer shoes and other athletic footwear made with kangaroo skin from being sold in the state, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
The court unanimously decided Monday that the 36-year-old ban on the import and sale of products made from various wildlife species, including kangaroo, was not preempted by federal wildlife law.
The case was brought by an animal protection group against Adidas, which sells soccer, rugby and baseball shoes made with the hide of kangaroo species that state law protects.
Adidas argued that U.S. federal law, which permits the import and sale of kangaroo skin, takes precedence over state law.
A lawyer for the sportswear company said the shoes at issue would continue to be sold in California until other legal issues in the case are resolved. He said the case eventually could reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
Animal rights groups hailed the decision for giving states the right to protect species even after the federal government decided that they were no longer in peril.
Bending to pressure, British soccer star David Beckham, who debuted last weekend with the Los Angeles Galaxy, has announced that he will no longer wear shoes made with kangaroo hide, according to published reports.