USDA fines family $90K for selling rabbits without a license

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Selling produce out of your backyard garden is now regulated by the FDA. Apparently the USDA didn’t want to be left out of the ridiculous regulation department so they went after a family raising rabbits, claiming a “paperwork violation” of the Animal Welfare Act of 1966 and charging them $90,643. In spite of the name of the act they supposedly violated, they are not being charged with animal cruelty or neglect. In fact, local experts heralded the Dollarhite family for the quality of the rabbits and the pristine conditions in which they were kept.

Started as a project to teach a teenage son responsibility, the Dollarhite’s sold approximately 600 rabbits in 56 transactions over a 2 year period. Their nightmare began in late 2009 when a USDA inspector arrived unannounced at the Dollarhite home, getting their address from a pet store they sold their rabbits to. In spite of the fact that there are NO written USDA standards for what constitutes proper care of a rabbit by a “wholesale breeder”, the inspector told Judy Dollarhite that their cage was a quarter-inch too small and must be replaced.

Smacking of political vendetta, the USDA stated they would “make an example” of the family and slapped them with a fine of over $90,000 – when the average fine is $333. According to Yahoo news,

One Washington lobbyist for the industrial farming sector said the penalty was ludicrous. The rabbit sales “are on the scale of a high school 4-H project,” the source said.

USDA spokesman Sacks said the $90,643 fine “looks curious to say the least.” But he insisted it was necessary for USDA to punish violators to ensure businesses across the country register, putting them on the USDA’s radar screen for inspections and possible enforcement.

I wonder if the USDA thought the rabbits were this kind:

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3 Responses to “USDA fines family $90K for selling rabbits without a license”

  1. Glenn641 Says:

    The government doesn’t understand public relations. Things like this make the silent majority scratch their heads in unbelief. Cann’t someone in government use some common sense. No wonder we have lost faith in government.

  2. Jerome Borden Says:

    Weren’t we warned about this kind of stuff a couple years back when the FDA proposed expanding “food safety standards” to the local market place? If this excites you, wait until somebody slips Codex Alimtarus (UN world-wide food and drug standards) into our law. For example, anything that is not RDA (80mg for Vitamin C) would require a Doctor’s Prescription. Calling Senator Hatch, anyone?

  3. USDA fines family $90K for selling rabbits without a license | beepip Says:

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