Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed AB 888, with significant support from the agriculture industry. Introduced by Assembly Member Marc Levine, the legislation is aimed at providing better access to slaughter services for livestock producers. The measure was sponsored by the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF).
“While consumer meat preferences continue to change, this bill provides greater flexibility for California’s livestock ranchers who provide fresh, locally-grown and raised products to those Californians preferring a different animal meat product,” CFBF President Jamie Johansson said in a press release. “AB 888 will help address meat processing bottlenecks by providing more options to safely slaughter goats, sheep and swine locally. By allowing for diversification in ranch revenue streams, this bill ensures that small ranchers can stay on the land, bringing down fuel loads while feeding families.”
Program Director for Roots of Change, Michael Dimock also expressed appreciation for the legislation moving forward. The measure provides an exemption to certain inspection requirements for mobile slaughter operations. Dimock recently co-authored a report detailing issues within California’s meat processing sector, highlighting the actions needed for improvement. He referred to AB 888 as a “short-term win” as the state moves to remedy some of the challenges within the sector. AB 888 should allow smaller producers to better compete and help strengthen the resiliency of the food supply chain.
“What it will do is make it much easier for the small and mid-scale producers to slaughter animals on their properties. This is about sheep, goats, lambs, and beef. That’s a really great thing,” said Dimock. “CDFA was really creative and thoughtful about how to make that bill excellent and lift a lot of burdens from the small producers. So that’s in play. I think that’s the first thing that’s going to happen and we’ll see results from that in the coming year.”