Few sperm donor
applicants follow up
The Washington Post
Just 4% of men who indicate interest in becoming sperm donors typically complete the application process and have sperm samples approved for use in medically assisted reproduction, according to research published in the journal Human Reproduction.
The finding came from an analysis of the donor application process for 11,712 men from the United States and Denmark who had applied to a large international sperm bank.
A majority or 55% were eliminated early on because they did not return questionnaires, missed appointments or withdrew their application. Others rejected included 17% for health reasons (such as infectious or genetic diseases), 12% for failing a lifestyle screening and 12% for poor sperm quality.
The researchers also found that roughly 40% of donor applicants agreed to make their identities available to any children born from their donations. In the United Kingdom, anonymous sperm donation is illegal.
In the United States, Colorado passed such a law last year, which will take effect in 2025. But no other state so far has banned anonymous sperm (or egg) donations. Since 2005, the Food and Drug Administration has banned most gay men from donating sperm, a policy that the agency says is designed to reduce the risk for transmitting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The use of medically assisted reproductive technology to treat infertility issues has more than doubled in the past decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with in vitro fertilization being the most common.
Oregon presents bill
to ban 'k-leather'
The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. -- A bill that would ban the sale of kangaroo parts has been introduced in the Oregon Legislature, taking aim at sports apparel manufacturers that use leather from the animals to make their products.
Soccer cleats are one of the only products made from kangaroo leather that are routinely sold in the state, radio station KLCC reported. The measure would affect Nike, which is based in Oregon and the state's largest employer.
"It's unconscionable that millions of native wild animals in Australia have been killed for the sake of high-end soccer cleats worn by a subset of elite soccer players," Democratic state Sen. Floyd Prozanski, who introduced the bill, said in a news release issued Monday by animal rights groups.
"I understand this legislation may have financial impact on some Oregon shoe manufacturers, but in the balance Oregon should be standing on the humane side of this issue. There are other materials that can be used in making these high-end cleats," Prozanski said.
The Center for a Humane Economy, Animal Wellness Action and the Animal Wellness Foundation welcomed the move.
"It's time for these shoe manufacturers to evolve their business model to eliminate extreme animal cruelty in their product offerings," said Rene Tatro, a board member of the center.
Nike didn't respond to the radio station's request for comment, but the company told ESPN last month that it uses kangaroo leather in a "small portion" of its soccer shoes and that it "works with leather suppliers that source animal skins from processors that use sound animal husbandry and humane treatment, whether farmed, domesticated, or wild managed."
Oregon's bill would make it a crime to buy, receive, sell or commercially exchange "any product containing a part of a dead kangaroo."
Lawmakers in Connecticut have introduced a similar bill this session. A federal ban on kangaroo products was proposed in the U.S. House in 2021, but was not approved.
The ban on "k-leather" would not be without precedent: California enacted a ban on kangaroo-based products in the 1970s.
The commercial harvest of kangaroos in Australia is legal. More than 1.3 million kangaroos were killed for commercial purposes in the country in 2021, KLCC reported, citing the Australia Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
The agency said that number represents less than one-third of the "sustainable quota," which is the amount it considers could be killed without putting any of the four main kangaroo species at risk.
The U.S. listed several types of kangaroo as endangered from the mid-1970s until the mid-'90s, but the animal is considered to have recovered.