USDA offers to drop fine against Missouri rabbit seller

Saturday, June 4, 2011 | 4:32 p.m. CDT; updated 11:30 a.m. CDT, Thursday, June 16, 2011

NIXA — A southwest Missouri man who faced a $90,654 penalty for selling rabbits without a license might get a reprieve.

The Department of Agriculture said it would waive the penalty against John Dollarhite of Nixa if he agrees to never get a license, the Springfield News-Leader reported Saturday. He also must no longer own breeding animals and spay or neuter any animals he wants to keep. He must allow inspectors to verify that he no longer has the rabbits.

The USDA revised the penalty after Sen. Claire McCaskill intervened, saying the proposed $90,654 fine "defies common sense."

The department said Dollarhite sold 619 animals despite being told several times that he needed a license.

Dollarhite said he made about $200 selling rabbits. He's closed his business.

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John Schultz June 5, 2011 | 2:46 p.m.

I would still love to hear a USDA official state why a citizen needs a license to sell fricking rabbits and guinea pigs.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz June 6, 2011 | 1:38 a.m.

Oh aren't you the witty one Gregg, with your tiny er URL hiding a lmgtfy link? Now, pray tell, might you fill the rest of us in on your (not Google's) vast knowledge of this malady? According to the link below, there are approximately 200 tularemia cases reported in the US each year:

How many cases do you think have been prevented by the USDA's licesning efforts? Do they even test a proposed rabbit dealer's stock for the disease? Have there been any documented cases of transmission between pet rabbits that were not raised from wild hares (which seems to be the USDA's concern in the link above)?

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 6, 2011 | 6:43 a.m.

This does not appear to be a textbook example of a successful business venture: about $200 in sales versus $90,654 in potential fines.

Senator McCaskill suggests that the proposed fine "defies common Sense." Of course it does, but not if you're the Department of Agriculture.

(Report Comment)
frank christian June 6, 2011 | 8:02 a.m.

I understand the U.S. Dept of Agriculture has more offices across our country than Walmart has stores. Claire thinks the size of their fine, "defies common Sense."?

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire June 6, 2011 | 12:06 p.m.

Send them to IRAQ!!!

(Report Comment)

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