The heavy hand of the government is punishing the Dollarhite family, of Dixa, Mo, for a 4 H sized rabbit project taken on in order to teach their teenage son responsibility.
They sold rabbit meat to friends and neighbors, but the US Dept of Agriculture claims that they were selling rabbits to a pet stores. This part time business generated about $4000-5000 dollars in sales over a couple of years, of which less than one tenth was profit.
They were classified as an unlicensed breeder of pets, putting them IN THE CROSSHAIRS of the USDA, and set them up for a series of threats and persecution. They were told that the agency was making an example of them.
Judy Dollarhite stated that one USDA inspector intimidated the family, and said that he had interviewed neighbors about the family’s political leanings.
They are fighting an offer, from Sarah Conant of the Animal Health and Welfare Enforcement Branch, of “settlement” to the USDA of $90,643.
Their Democrat senator and Republican representative have agreed to intervene for them and a protest in front of the USDA office in Ozark, MO is planned.