April 10, 2024



AB 2640, Animal Dissection Bill

Passes Committee 

Click on image to watch the Assembly Education Committee Hearing 4-10-2024

Sacramento, Calif., April 10, 2024 - Today, AB 2640, The Class (Compassionate Advancements in Science Studies) Act, authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) and sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation, PETA and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, passed the Assembly Education Committee with a unanimous vote of 6-to-0.


The significance of this milestone cannot be overstated. In 2019, SCIL sponsored a dissection bill also authored by Assemblymember Kalra that died in its first committee. We have been working for the past five years to bring lawmakers and educators over to our side. It is a truly great day for the animal advocacy community when policymakers acknowledge that children who love and respect animals have rights that need to be upheld.


Every year in the U.S., an estimated 10 million animals are killed for dissection. Frogs are taken from the wild (a practice that disrupts ecosystems), fetal piglets are cut from the wombs of their mothers, and cats that may be someone’s lost companion end up on dissection trays. Other animals are routinely drowned or suffocated. 


The Class Act will modernize science education in the state of California by requiring teachers to inform students of where animals brought into science classes for dissection are sourced and to remind them that they have the right to opt out of dissection and choose a nonanimal assignment instead.


“Cutting open animals for cruel and archaic dissection can be traumatizing for compassionate young people and can deter those with ethical objections from pursuing careers in science,” says PETA TeachKind Science Program Manager Samantha Crowe. “PETA is calling on lawmakers to protect vulnerable students and animals by reinforcing their right to opt for superior, humane, nonanimal methods.”


“In doing research on this bill, every single person I spoke to remembers dissection as a negative experience,” said Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation. “They took away nothing about biology – just that killing animals to carve them up is cruel and disgusting. Today’s digital technologies offer a better understanding of animal anatomy in a way that children can enjoy, and spare them being exposed to formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Until these safer and superior alternatives to dissection are used universally, schoolkids need to be informed of their rights.

"We are thrilled to finally move this important bill forward", said Nickolaus Sackett, Director of Legislative Affairs for SCIL. "We cannot thank Assemblymember Kalra enough for his perseverance and leadership on this issue."

SCIL thanks the committee for working with the cosponsors to amend the Class Act in a way that makes it easier for school districts to implement while preserving our intent.


Thank you also to Samantha Crowe, program manager for PETA’s Humane Science Ed Division and former biology professor, for her testimony today and her years of hanging in there with us to make this happen.


And special thanks to Chapman University student, Katharine Hampton, for bravely sharing the traumatic impact that feeling compelled to participate in dissection in grade school and high school had on her physical health and mental wellbeing.


The next stop for this bill is the Appropriations Committee. Watch for details about the time and date of that hearing and actions you can take to help move it forward.

SCIL is working to advance ten bills that will directly save animals’ lives this year! It is a lot of work, and we need your financial support. If you’re in a position to do so, please consider making a donation today.


Thank you so much,

Judie Mancuso, founder/CEO/president

Social Compassion in Legislation

Social Compassion in Legislation
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