Gustine, California- A Local Merced County business owner, Justina Sabala from Wild Game Jerky, is fighting to keep her business going against a Penal Code that could potentially ruin her business.
Penal Code Section 653o part B declared that,
“Commencing January 1, 2020, it shall be unlawful to import into this state for commercial purposes, to possess with intent to sell, or to sell within the state, the dead body, or any part or product thereof, of a crocodile or alligator.”
This section of the code has been amended two times in 2010 and once again in 2014 but has come back again causing businesses that sell Alligator & Crocodile Meat Products to worry once more that their business will be forced to close.
Justina Sabala, owner of Wild Game Jerky, has been selling Jerky for over five years and her top seller across the state is Alligator because of its exotic taste and attractiveness to tourist wanting to try something new.
When Justina found out that the state would be deciding on whether Alligator & Crocodile meat would be continued to be sold in California she knew she had to do something to make sure that her representatives knew how this would affect her business and her family.
Justina has since hired Zachery Ramos to be her businesses personal lobbyist to help fight her case at the Capitol and speak with other businesses to join in the fight to keep businesses like hers able to continue the selling of Wild Game Jerky.
It’s not just local resident Justina who is fighting to help keep her businesses going, the Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council has been working with businesses that deal with the selling and purchasing of Alligator & Crocodile meat products.
The Lousiana council is helping give California businesses equal representation at the State Capitol here in California.
Zachery believes that local representatives back at home like Adam Gray and Anna Caballero both understand the effect this code will have on businesses, not only Merced County but across the state and knows that they will make the right decision when the time comes.
Justina has already gained the support of the Merced Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce, she believes that the years of support she’s given to numerous causes and charities shows to others the benefits her business has offered to others across the county.
Justina hopes that in the end the Penal Code will be amended and no longer have to worry about if she will have to pull Alligator & Crocodile from stores across the state which will cause a large decrease in profits coming into the new year.
Justina has always planned on handing down what she’s created to her daughter so she may continue the family business.