In yet another example of Federal tyranny, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has come down with both feet on a Nixa, Mo., family for selling rabbits in a business that began as a way to teach their son responsibility.
John Dollarhite, the owner of Dollarvalue Rabbitry, is facing a fine of $90,643 for selling 619 rabbits to individuals and businesses in southwest Missouri from April 3, 2008 to Dec. 21, 2009. The business, which Dollarhite considered as similar to a lemonade stand to benefit his son’s development, netted $200 profit during that time on the sale of rabbits at $10 to $12 each.
According to the blog Bungalow Bill’s Conservative Wisdom, a USDA agent visited the Dollarhite’s rabbitry in the fall of 2009 and pointed out two minor infractions — cages were a quarter-inch too small and there was a small rust spot on a feeder.
It was January 2010 before the Dollarhites again heard from the USDA. They learned an agent was asking about them at a local pet store, and then they got a call demanding a face-to-face meeting and advising they have an attorney present. During the meeting, the agent would say only that he was conducting an investigation. The Dollarhites asked the agent if the business needed to be certified, and the agent was nonresponsive.
Two months later, they called the USDA to inquire about the investigation. The USDA agent Dollarhite spoke to said: “Well, Mr. Dollarhite, I’ve got the report on my desk. And I’m just gonna tell you that, once I review it, it’s our intent to prosecute you the maximum that we can … We will make an example out of you.”
The Dollarhites didn’t hear from the agency again until they received the letter informing them of the fine last April. Their crime: They sold more than $500 worth of rabbits in a calendar year.
Dollarhite, who runs a local computer store, told the Springfield News-Leader: “I don’t have any money. It doesn’t matter if it’s $1,000 or $100 million. I don’t have it.”
Bungalow Bill writes that he believes the Dollarhites are being used as pawns by the USDA to give the agency more influence over the horse industry.
Hat Tip: Naturalnews.com