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Legal?

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Legal?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby golden rabbitry » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:09 pm


Hi
My name is Abi and I am a local backyard breeder that sells to new buy petshops and resently go this question:
"so you are legaly breeding? Do you have a permet? Is what you are doing TECHNICALY legal?"
And I have no idea what thiss person was saying but know i need do know
Am I legal?

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Re: Legal?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby SixGun » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:44 pm


The USDA puts limits on the number of rabbits that can be sold without a license and inspection, and California as a state may have limits, taxes to be paid, etc as well.
It would be best to contact your local agricultural extension office with that question. They can answer questions specific for your area and help you get the proper paperwork in order.

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Re: Legal?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Nymphadora » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:50 am


:yeahthat:

SixGun gave great advice... as a fellow Californian resident I would also recommend you look at your city and county laws. Not only are they helpful in determining how many rabbits you may have on your property, but a lot of cities/counties have their own rules for selling ages, etc. as well.

For example, where I live (and this might apply to most of California), rabbits must be at least 8 weeks old before they are able to be sold. They are also not permitted to be sold at swap meets, given away as prizes at fairs, or dyed in any color to be sold. And some counties require a permit if you sell more than a certain dollar amount per year. (I think it's $500 in most cases? I could be wrong).

Also, California passed a law in 2017 to prohibit pet stores from selling anything but rescue dogs, cats, and I believe rabbits. So you should probably check with the store you're selling to, in order to make sure they're following the law, too.

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Re: Legal?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby akane » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:57 pm


If you surpass a certain income in any animal sales it has to be declared and possibly have your rabbit housing inspected by the USDA yearly. It's $100,000s in potential fines if you get caught messing that up. Most people do not have to worry about it with private sales but everything to a pet store has a more official record and total amount in one place so it has on rare occasion put some people into massive debt for just selling their extras to a pet store. Pet stores also have their own permits to worry about when it comes to who they buy from and what they sell both from the federal USDA requirements and state requirements.
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Re: Legal?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby golden rabbitry » Wed Jun 27, 2018 4:41 pm


I only own 3 rabbit(though i am buying a fourth soon) and keep them all in a very clean wooden building. I sell to Lee's feed and they never ask any quesions. They favor me as a breeder cause we tend to have very beautiful rabbits with blue eyes and are beautiful built, but they never really check if it is legal or anything. They just have me a slip of paper to show they prepayed me. nothing else. we have never had ayone come and inspect our rabbit house and have only been in buisness for a year and a half. We are simple backyard breeders

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Re: Legal?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby akane » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:45 pm


I believe under 4 breeding females is exempt and then you'd also have to be surpassing the $500 or so. Most USDA licensing requirements have a number of breeding age females you can have before you need a license. It's how I was able to keep and sell hedgehogs that always require a license even if not selling them for breeding more than 4 females. Then someone has to actually notice and care. The reason people have ended up with such huge fines is they often sell rabbits to the same store(s) for several years before it's reported or noticed by anyone. Most of the links are buried but one of those times that showed up across forums and the news the people had been breeding meat rabbits and to cover costs selling some extras at $20 each including to the same store for 3 years. When someone noticed their income from it was several $1,000 a year for an actual profit of about $200 the USDA showed up and despite no sign of neglect and nothing wrong with their care they were ordered to pay $90,000 and never breed another animal of any species ever again. Otherwise the fine per rabbit for the years they were over was closer to $4mil. It's rare but a few cases like that have shown up in the past 5-10 years.
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Re: Legal?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby golden rabbitry » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:45 pm


i am technicaly not even a buisness(i have no licence) but the feed store does not care. could they also get in trouble?

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Re: Legal?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Nymphadora » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:55 pm


golden rabbitry wrote:i am technicaly not even a buisness(i have no licence) but the feed store does not care. could they also get in trouble?

From the sounds of it, if they were audited or someone called attention to it, you could both be in trouble. Personally, I would recommend protecting yourself by making sure that you are following all the laws that you can find, and then asking the feed store about their animal-selling policies. It might be that they are allowed to sell "livestock" animals (which is why feed stores can sell chicks, etc.) and that rabbits fall into that category.

But it wouldn't hurt to be cautious and double-check that they are following the laws as well.

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Re: Legal?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby akane » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:15 pm


You don't have to be declared a business to end up being called a business due to your actions. The restriction is what you have to follow in order to not be considered a business or other type of breeder that requires a license and USDA inspection. It's the animal numbers and income to stay under for hobbyist breeder status. It's really quite low considering it takes very few rabbits to produce a few hundred a year and surpass $500 with just $20-$30 rabbits. Even worse for those with really high quality show rabbits or more expensive breeds that they regularly sell around $50 each. There are probably 1,000s of people surpassing the income limit for animals that are not exotics, dogs, or cats (all have a higher limit) every year but if it's all done in private sales with no single record of a person's income it's hard to figure out who is selling what.

If you sell to a pet store you end up having to care about the laws and it gets messy sometimes. Try sorting exotics and reptile laws. I should just get a law degree for everything I have to look up. :lol: The increase in ability to connect with lots of people and sell animals easier over the internet is part of what has led to the muddiness around the laws and multiple revisions of who/what is considered a "retail pet store" or "dealer" instead of a hobby breeder. As well as more restrictions and attention paid to what ends up in pet stores and from who. Plus the overall paranoia of mill breeders, dislike by the public of anything termed a backyard breeder, etc.... is forcing the groups that oversee these things to act. Doesn't help there's some complex politics involving the USDA and HSUS that includes hiring a former animal rescuer and HSUS worker in 2010 as the one watching for pet sellers and handing out fines for these things but that's another can of worms.

For exotics like hedgehogs and chinchillas we do spend the money back out directly or deposit it to a separate account so that if we do something like when we bought a house we don't have to go through explaining and defending all the deposits from our animal sales even if we know we aren't breaking any laws. We sometimes make $1,000-$2,000 a year though on chinchillas or when we were breeding hedgehogs that could be $500-800 a litter 3x a year breeding 2 females at a time.
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