Man faces federal fine over rabbit sales

NIXA, Mo. (AP) — A Nixa man faces a $90,000 fine over accusations that he sold rabbits and guinea pigs without a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A proposed settlement with the USDA, which oversees animal sales, said John Dollarhite sold 619 animals from 2008 to 2009, despite being told several times he needed a license. Dollarhite’s business has been closed.

Dollarhite told The Springfield News-Leader that he didn’t know he needed a license. He said the USDA has told him to pay the penalty by Monday or face possible litigation.

USDA spokesman Dave Sacks said the agency learned about Dollarhite after an inspector looking at a licensed facility found that some of its animals came from Dollarhite. Sacks said licensed businesses are inspected to make sure animals are properly cared for.

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