February 16, 2024


New legislation will ensure uniform rules to allow families participating in junior agricultural programs to opt out of slaughter-only auctions

February 16, 2024 - Today, AB 3053 was introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra and sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL). The bill will require that state fair rules allow families participating in junior agricultural programs to opt out of a “terminal sale” at any time, thereby saving the animal from the slaughter phase of the program. Secondly, it will allow successful bidders to pick the animal up alive, which is not an option today.

Per the California Department of Food and Agriculture, "a terminal sale is a sale in which the market ready animals exhibited at the Fair are to be sent to a processing facility and harvested following the conclusion of the auction/fair."

Currently, there are no explicit rules allowing families to change their mind and save the animal, and bidders are only allowed to receive animals as meat. The result is disputes between families or bidders and fair officials that clog up the courts and fail to save the animals in both cases.


The proposed legislation is on the heels of viral civil rights litigation centered around a nine-year-old girl who raised her goat Cedar as part of a junior agricultural program. She had a change of heart and came to see Cedar not as an animal science project but rather as a family member. She wanted to see Cedar live out his life in a sanctuary. Yet even after she exercised her right as a minor to disaffirm her agreement with the fair, in accordance with California contract law, her family was not able to save Cedar, who was seized and slaughtered.


According to the pending litigation, several government officials violated the Constitution by seizing and slaughtering Cedar without due process. A January 2024 Sacramento Bee article sheds light on the details of Cedar’s case.


“Education is meant to expand minds,” said Judie Mancuso, Founder, CEO and President of Social Compassion in Legislation. “Of course children and their families should be able to choose a compassionate option when they have a change of heart. If the purpose of junior agricultural programs is to teach children how to gain and apply new knowledge, then they should absolutely offer an opt-out for children who come to understand that animals are sentient beings that deserve to live with love and care.”


“Youth education programs play a pivotal role in helping to shape future generations,” said Gene Baur, Co-founder and President of Farm Sanctuary. “AB 3053 will allow students to exercise critical thinking and act with empathy, and this is good for both humans and other animals.”


Social Compassion in Legislation is proud to sponsor this important legislation. Views toward animals continue to evolve in our great state, and our laws need to reflect those changes. We look forward to the day when families can easily opt out of the slaughter phase instead of walking away with broken hearts.

Getting this bill and others we are sponsoring this year through the legislature and signed into law will require resources. If you’re able to contribute now to help us save and protect animals, we’d be most grateful. No amount is too small.


On behalf of SCIL and all the animals, thank you!

Judie Mancuso, founder/CEO/president

Social Compassion in Legislation

Social Compassion in Legislation
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