kangarooA California Supreme Court decision Monday upheld a 36-year-old ban on the import and sale of products made from various wildlife species — specifically soccer, rugby, and baseball shoes made by defendant Adidas.

The decision was hailed by animal rights groups for setting a precedent allowing states to protect species that the federal government no longer deems in peril.

Meanwhile, Aussies (who apparently often serve ‘roo on the barbie) are rather confused by the ruling. The formerly endangered kangaroo is now so common down under that they have an annual cull to keep populations to a managable number. So why, they ask, should California be so concerned about whether they’re used to make shoes?

"I guess they are really cute. And California is a sucker for a cute animal," said Sydney native Kalee StClair. "Look at how people dress their dogs here." Touché.

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Some athletes say the kangaroo-hide sneaks "add mobility and comfort," but if you want to bend it like Beckham, you’ll have to go with synthetic. The U.K. soccer star (recently welcomed to America by Tom Cruise et al) swore off ‘roo shoes last year due to pressure from animal rights groups and possibly his vegetarian wife (though does it count if all you’re eating is lettuce and cigarettes anyway?).

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