The federal government is out of control when it is attacking ordinary Americans for raising rabbits and men like Jon Corzine are allowed to walk around free after stealing $1.2 Billion.
The Dollarhite's were accused by the USDA in 2009 of failing to get a permit to sell rabbits after selling more than $500 worth of rabbits. They faced a fine of more than $90,000 ($10,000 per bunny) for what started out as a school project for their teenage son. The USDA never disputed the fact that the rabbits were completely healthy, well cared for and had more than adequate living conditions.
A fight over raising rabbits that pitted a Christian County couple against the U.S. Department of Agriculture has ended with the rabbit raisers avoiding a $90,000 fine, according to Sen. Claire McCaskill.John and Judy Dollarhite sparred with the federal agency over what John Dollarhite said was the sale of rabbits in 2008 and 2009 that produced around $200 in profits.The Dollarhites were warned by the USDA they were violating animal welfare regulations and needed to obtain a license to sell rabbits.The Nixa couple disputed the agency's actions to the point that their story became a favorite of bloggers and commentators upset at big government.On Tuesday, McCaskill said a settlement has been reached."I'm pleased this settlement will bring an end to a situation that defied common sense and plagued the Dollarhite family for months," McCaskill indicated in a written statement. "As an elected official and a Missourian, I could not stand by and allow the government to go after a family selling a small number of rabbits as pets. I commend John and Judy for their dogged determination to fight for their rights."McCaskill contacted the Dollarhites in May after reading about their situation in the News-Leader and being astounded by the USDA's proposed penalties, according to a news release.The couple asked the senator's staff for help, and McCaskill sent a letter to USDA officials demanding they drop the fines and work with the Dollarhites to find a satisfactory outcome.According to McCaskill staffers, the agreement disqualifies the Dollarhites from obtaining an Animal Welfare Act license, with the disqualification retroactive to April 19. Another provision acknowledges that the agriculture secretary has the authority to administer and enforce the act.John Dollarhite said he could not comment on the settlement Tuesday because he and his wife were observing their 24th wedding anniversary."My wife said we can't talk about it tonight," Dollarhite said. "Maybe in a day or two."
Unlicensed rabbit raisers in Christian County avoid fine | Springfield News-Leader | News-Leader.com