USDA offers to drop fine against rabbit seller

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

The U.S. 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. And he must allow inspectors to verify that he no longer has the rabbits.

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

The agency 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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