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  #1  
Old 03/07/04, 05:10 AM
Plow Boy's Avatar  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: INDIANA
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Any Trouble Selling Rabbits?

Is there a law in your state about selling rabbits? I just put a sign out front by the country road that says "Rabbits For Sale, Alive or Dressed" So far I have never had any one say anything against it. When I get to many rabbits in the freezer, I run an ad in the paper for--"rabbit meat for sale".. still no problems. One thing is, when I run the ad in the paper, I wish I had a freezer full, they sell that fast.
Just wondering if any one has problems selling their rabbits for pets or meat.

Dex

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  #2  
Old 03/07/04, 07:12 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 830
Quote:
Is there a law in your state about selling rabbits? I just put a sign out front by the country road that says "Rabbits For Sale, Alive or Dressed"
You might want to do a bit of research via the internet. Most states have
their regulations online. In most states, the regulating department is
usually associated with the State Dept. of Agriculture and/or Health
Department.

In our state, we must have a license to sell a dressed rabbit. Of course,
they have no problem with me "showing" the buyer how to process the
rabbit and eliminate the licensing. It's just not easy to do that
in all cases.

It sounds like no official has found you yet!
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  #3  
Old 03/09/04, 12:03 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plow Boy
Is there a law in your state about selling rabbits? I just put a sign out front by the country road that says "Rabbits For Sale, Alive or Dressed" So far I have never had any one say anything against it. When I get to many rabbits in the freezer, I run an ad in the paper for--"rabbit meat for sale".. still no problems. One thing is, when I run the ad in the paper, I wish I had a freezer full, they sell that fast.
Just wondering if any one has problems selling their rabbits for pets or meat.

Dex

LOL!!! I envy you! Here in IL, you need a seperate license for both activities... I've not had the 'guts' to do it yet, though I will probably start out without such legal conveniences. Not that I like taking risks, just that I don't see spending over $150 for the privilege... Probably won't sell them 'dressed' though -

I do have a friend here that sells chickens "dead or alive", but you have to dress them once you get them home. She says that avoids some of the license requirements. She's never had a problem, either.

Sue
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  #4  
Old 03/10/04, 05:24 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: INDIANA
Posts: 93

I saw the laws before on line but can't find them now.
No I don't have problems here, never have, I just was wondering. I live in Indiana, If any one can find it on line, please post it.......

Thanks.

Dex

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  #5  
Old 03/16/04, 07:07 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: 60 miles SW of chicago
Posts: 3,146

Sue,

Is this a county reg? I am also in IL. and was told by the county health dept ( in my county they do the inspections of restaurants etc. ) that in IL. I could do point of origin sales of up to 5000 rabits per year with no problem the only requirements were that if they were dressed they had to be clearly labled ( Point of origin sale, not USDA inspected.) Also they could not be sold for resale.

I know this is my first post and I hate to come off as questioning someones answer right off the bat. I just wanted to see if I was told wrong or if this varys from county to county.

Jim Bunton

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  #6  
Old 03/17/04, 04:46 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: INDIANA
Posts: 93

Hi Jim,

I live in Indiana, and I read some place, that in this State there was no regulations on selling rabbit meat. But that was years ago and I just wanted to check and see what the Ind. law was now. I think it might be like yours, I know its on the net someplace. If any one can find it please post it.
The one I saw had every state listed on rabbit raising and selling the meat.

Plow Boy

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  #7  
Old 03/17/04, 07:46 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Alabama
Posts: 13
Lightbulb Answer to Plow Boy's question earlier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plow Boy
Is there a law in your state about selling rabbits? I just put a sign out front by the country road that says "Rabbits For Sale, Alive or Dressed" So far I have never had any one say anything against it. When I get to many rabbits in the freezer, I run an ad in the paper for--"rabbit meat for sale".. still no problems. One thing is, when I run the ad in the paper, I wish I had a freezer full, they sell that fast.
Just wondering if any one has problems selling their rabbits for pets or meat.

Dex
Hey, this is i4gvn, from Alabama. As far as I know the only laws about selling rabbits for pets, consumption, or for pelts is what the USDA puts out for the official sell as food and clothing. As for local laws, here in my area, you have to have a business permit, which usually cost around $25.00 or so. I played it smart though when I was selling mine. I raised and sold rabbits to everyone, however, I would not openly tell people of using them for food unless they asked or was inquisitive about it. I usually sold each of my rabbits for $10 each regardless of breed, sex, color, or age. I also sold babies or smaller breeds to snake handlers and bird feeders (persons owning birds of prey). I did this for about 5-6 years and never had a problem with anything unsual except for the occasional critict who had something vulgar to say about eating rabbit meat. I even had physicians buy occassionally and comment on how smart it was to eat rabbit, being that it is the only meat out there with the lowest fat, highest protein content of any meat on the market. It usually sells around here when you can find it for around $2.50-$3.00 a pound. Don't be discouraged by what the grocery store shopper for meat type people say. Most haven't probrably even tried rabbit for a meal and just comment just to sound mean and surely. I've lived off of country cooking for most of my life and find it enjoying to try food I had as a child and besides, if you make no sales, as I did at times, you have a fresh meal ticket out in the backyard just waiting to be cleaned and steamed, so to speak. Enjoy and happy selling. i4gvn@netzero.net
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  #8  
Old 03/17/04, 07:56 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Alabama
Posts: 13
Thumbs up One more thing I forgot to tell you

Quote:
Originally Posted by i4gvn
Hey, this is i4gvn, from Alabama. As far as I know the only laws about selling rabbits for pets, consumption, or for pelts is what the USDA puts out for the official sell as food and clothing. As for local laws, here in my area, you have to have a business permit, which usually cost around $25.00 or so. I played it smart though when I was selling mine. I raised and sold rabbits to everyone, however, I would not openly tell people of using them for food unless they asked or was inquisitive about it. I usually sold each of my rabbits for $10 each regardless of breed, sex, color, or age. I also sold babies or smaller breeds to snake handlers and bird feeders (persons owning birds of prey). I did this for about 5-6 years and never had a problem with anything unsual except for the occasional critict who had something vulgar to say about eating rabbit meat. I even had physicians buy occassionally and comment on how smart it was to eat rabbit, being that it is the only meat out there with the lowest fat, highest protein content of any meat on the market. It usually sells around here when you can find it for around $2.50-$3.00 a pound. Don't be discouraged by what the grocery store shopper for meat type people say. Most haven't probrably even tried rabbit for a meal and just comment just to sound mean and surely. I've lived off of country cooking for most of my life and find it enjoying to try food I had as a child and besides, if you make no sales, as I did at times, you have a fresh meal ticket out in the backyard just waiting to be cleaned and steamed, so to speak. Enjoy and happy selling. i4gvn@netzero.net
If you have any need for some quick raising tips and helps feel free to email me at i4gvn@netzero.net. I really know a whole lot about raising rabbits, a whole lot. There are somethings people just don't understand about raising rabbits because they let society hold them back from practicing them. Trust me, it is not easy finding people who are willing to let there little secrets out, as if it is going to keep them in the mainstream and make them money using publications and such. All my info is completely free and I'm willing to help out as much as I possibly can. Also, I'm into chickens now. Do you or anyone you know have any quick answers to my question about how to build an incubator for chicken and quail eggs. I have a deal posted with homestead in here under poultry questions. Check it out and tell your friends about it. I could really use some help with this problem as I have eggs up to my chin and need hatching. I don't really have a dependable broody hen and I have pickeled(not sure of that spelling) as many as I can. Holler if you have some questions and some help with my problem. ok
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  #9  
Old 03/17/04, 02:49 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 144

LOL! I've tried to answer three times.. Guess the Gods have determined I should post so much, lol!

Anyway - WELCOME!!!!

I really couldn't say. The information you got seems much more plausible to me than what I've run into!! I would go with what you've been told...

I do not personally believe there are STATE-LEVEL laws regarding this. And, if there are, the state employees have no clue where they are located.

As a matter of fact, with your permission of course!!! I would like to copy your post and take it with me on my next visit to the county......

McHenry county has its own wayS of doing things - with each person you talk to its different. Had I been intelligent, I would have started off with the extension office... But I didn't. Here's the story so far:

Meat rabbits - was told by McH county that they would require a license (business) and health dept. inspection. K - I get it - no problem. Was also told that I should contact state health department. Did that - two months ago - no answer yet. Have called, they said they were sending 'a package' - nothing comes. Are there any regs??? DON'T KNOW!! imho Probably not. But one never knows in this blasted state.

Went BACK to county, their answer was 'try again'. No more info provided, and I was there in person the second time.

Pet rabbits: Told by two pet store owners - respectively - need license/registration. Went to the county physically this time - same as above, no application, and couldn't seem to find ANY regs in the book. Still waiting.

While I was there, went to vital stats to get a dba form, asked there, too - they were clueless. Was worth a shot......

They (Health Dept) said call state - see above. Now, it could have been that store owners meant something along the lines of an ARBA 'registration', or membership, or even a just plain old business license, but didn't seem likely (the one said "registered breeder", other said "licensed breeder"), and didn't ask. My fault... I was never aware of any state-level licensing of any animal breeders with exception of a falconer's license.

Next:

Township wants the county business license, and inspections - for meat - again, ok with me... But also a 'proposal' to assure no parking/traffic congestion - even though we are NOT incorporated, it would be by appointment only so only one car at a time, etc. Want this presented in person at the next (whenever) board meeting. I could live with that, I guess. No harm no foul. Still - don't think they have jurisdiction - think county does.

Also have village regs to deal with. (And, since they are trying to annex our neighborhood, they don't really want the waves, lol, TOO BAD!) They want to tell me how many animals I can have on the property at one time, make sure they don't smell, etc etc., which is ok too - EXCEPT the number of animals - I'm not trying for mass marketing here! Five or six does and a couple bucks aren't going to stink up the neighborhood or cause massive alterations of existing structures! still... ok...

Then, you have the MPOA, which is our local homeowners assoc. copy of business license I understand, but also want me to register with them, I guess because if the neighbors have a complaint, they might have recourse??? Would think that a given. And to also present to THEIR members, no problem - can understand the concern.

All this in addition to publication (assumed name), which would be required for me anyway, in my personal situation, etc has my head spinning...

In the end, there is no telling at this point if there even ARE state-level laws in IL, but county seems to think so.

- - - -

I have a call in to the county extension office to help me sort through all the muck... not returned yet, but whatever - only been about a week for them. And its HARD to get me on the phone. Since I can't get a straight answer from the county (or seemingly the state either) at least a the extension office they can put me in touch with others who are doing similar things!

SO.... ANY and ALL help/suggestions/info/resources would be very very much appreciated!

Was not this way up until 2000, in Cook County - land of no farms - all I needed was a county issued 'regular' business license! (and a yearly inspection, of course - It being Cook County and all.......) As a kid, I didn't even need THAT much! I go away for a couple years and the whole world changes on me!!! I think its probably that I ask the wrong questions or use the wrong terms, have run into that before. But with no real feedback, I really couldn't tell you.

Incidentally - same thing happened with selling seedlings at farmer's markets - essentially. On that one, the state DID send the papers. Want a license at state level and also inspection. I THOUGHT this was only if one were to sell mail order (out of state...), but paperwork does not make any distinction on this. Most growers I've talked to have no clue either...

If you have any doubts about the information you were given, try the extension office.

Reminds me of a post a couple years ago about "Shoot, shovel and shut up"... I should have just not said anything and gotten a plain old business license!!!


Sue

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  #10  
Old 03/17/04, 10:01 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 830
Quote:
Pet rabbits: Told by two pet store owners - respectively - need license/registration. Went to the county physically this time - same as above, no application, and couldn't seem to find ANY regs in the book. Still waiting.
If your sales to pet stores are more than $500 annually, you are legislated
by USDA and the AWA (Animal Welfare Act). Your state may also impose regulations.

You might begin here. Sorry I don't have the specific sections
bookmarked.

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ac/cfr/9cfr3.html#3.61
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http://www.texasrabbitconnection.com

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  #11  
Old 03/20/04, 09:28 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 144

Thank you!! (I posted in a couple places, and you are the only one that answered so far.

I need to check this... I'd say I could do $500 easily in the first year!

Thanks again!

Sue

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  #12  
Old 03/22/04, 06:44 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,383

Suggestion.... try visiting the "Commercial Rabbit Industries" for information on what is needed for each of the rabbit industries at:

http://www.3-cities.com/~fuzyfarm/

Processing rabbit meat for resale purposes means to resell to stores and restaurants. That would definitely require you to have an appropriately licensed processing plant subject to inspections. However, most states do allow a certain number of farm direct to consumer sales (but not to stores) without the need for licensing. If you want to build a processing plant, you first need to find out if your state allows state-inspected facilities, or USDA only.... some big differences in some cases, and it can also vary by county.

In most states (if not all), it is illegal to charge for processing (butchering) rabbits (or any meat animals) unless you are a licensed and inspected processor and using an appropriately licensed facility. Most breeders get around this simply by including the price in the price of the rabbit and butchering "for free." a

I agree that many have never had any problems with advertising this service, but as was said in an earlier post... they just haven't caught up with them, yet! LOL

If you plan on selling more than $500.00 worth of pet rabbits, then, you will need to have an AWA permit and be subjected to inspections.

Pat Lamar
President
Professional Rabbit Meat Association
http://www.prma.org/

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  #13  
Old 03/23/04, 12:40 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Alabama
Posts: 13
Talking In reference to being found out in rabbit selling

This is yet another attempt at the "Rich" trying to subdue the common folk of America, who by the way made the wealthy who they are by their work and sweat and turmoil in supply people what they wish to have, when they need it. Society in America today is what has all but demolished small home run establishments and similar projects off the surface of this great nation. "If you don't have a liscence(s) we will find you" attitudes is what makes people ponder who they actually put in office to handle such matters. If people would wake up and see what is going on around them, they would see all that is happening to the people trying to make something on the side are wealthy, up-to-do-people will thick wads and heavy check books making the rules, yet when they have surplus, do they turn around and say, "Hey, let's try and help the little people out by lowering prices and tariffs on imports and exports of materials so as to make everything cheaper in the long run." Nope! Won't ever hear such words as those come from people who have no need to make something on the side and at the same time say that it is illegal if you don't follow the rules "We" put forth for you to abide by. Don't forget, this is a country who is supposed to have been represented by the people for the people and not for the individual top business man in his office of no needs!!!! Lamar]Suggestion.... try visiting the "Commercial Rabbit Industries" for information on what is needed for each of the rabbit industries at:

http://www.3-cities.com/~fuzyfarm/

Processing rabbit meat for resale purposes means to resell to stores and restaurants. That would definitely require you to have an appropriately licensed processing plant subject to inspections. However, most states do allow a certain number of farm direct to consumer sales (but not to stores) without the need for licensing. If you want to build a processing plant, you first need to find out if your state allows state-inspected facilities, or USDA only.... some big differences in some cases, and it can also vary by county.

In most states (if not all), it is illegal to charge for processing (butchering) rabbits (or any meat animals) unless you are a licensed and inspected processor and using an appropriately licensed facility. Most breeders get around this simply by including the price in the price of the rabbit and butchering "for free." a

I agree that many have never had any problems with advertising this service, but as was said in an earlier post... they just haven't caught up with them, yet! LOL

If you plan on selling more than $500.00 worth of pet rabbits, then, you will need to have an AWA permit and be subjected to inspections.

Pat Lamar
President
Professional Rabbit Meat Association
http://www.prma.org/[/QUOTE]

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  #14  
Old 03/23/04, 12:59 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,383

>This is yet another attempt at the "Rich" trying to subdue the common folk of America...<

In this present day and age of Mad Cow, Avian Flu, and other contaminated meat and/or food issues and concerns, I'm *very* surprised by your attitude! Only common sense tells us that we need to have very stringent requirements for consumer protection purposes! Sadly, not everyone has the same idea as to what is "acceptable" and/or "safe" (and that's not even considering those who simply don't care so long as they make a dollar). Even with the stringent requirements, there are still meat recalls and problems... and you want to blame the "rich" for having instituted the requirements? I don't think so!

The AWA licensing came about in order to combat the very profitable illegal activitiy of stealing pets to sell to laboratories. Best to know what these permits and licenses are for and why they came about before complaining about them.

Pat Lamar
President
Professional Rabbit Meat Association
http://www.prma.org/

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  #15  
Old 03/24/04, 01:29 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 144

Thanks Pat! The link is up on another page, and I'll head right over there.

LOL! No way in a zillion years could afford (or legally have here!) a processing plant - wow... never even thought of it!

In my present circumstances, could not guarantee the sanitation issue, and so opt out of processing... maybe on a 'real' farm - but DEFINATELY not here.

I don't see how, even at $6 - $7 I could avoid doing more than $500 in pets a year... At least to call it a business.... So will definately look into it.

Blasted (read with much more 'color' and emphasis....) 'puppy mills' got us all.... No wonder so many folks are on a cash only basis...

Sue

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  #16  
Old 03/24/04, 02:15 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,383

Sue....

Are you planning to sell large numbers of rabbits to pet stores, or direct-to-customer on your farm? It may make a difference. For example, it is the sales of $500.00 or more to *each* store which would require an AWA permit in order to sell to that store. Each store keeps records. This is why many backyard breeders are able to sell to pet stores without being licensed, since they don't sell $500.00 worth to the *store* each year. As always, there will always be those who find ways around those laws and requirements, and it is not uncommon for the stores to actually "work with you" on this, too. I've known pet stores and even laboratories to break up an order by putting it under someone else's name and address so it won't amount to $500.00 worth. Once their own purchases from you hits the $500.00 worth in one year, they are required to request evidence of an AWA permit in order to buy from you.

With so many backyard breeders selling pet rabbits direct to customers, the AWA has considerable difficulty catching up with the ones who sell more than $500.00 worth. As such, they depend on others to "report" you to them, or they would likely rely on your income tax report for that information, and in which case you would have to declare your rabbitry as a "business"... complete with business license. I've also known some who, while catering to multiple markets besides just "pet" bunnies, will declare the pet sales as "breeder" sales, since the potential is always there for using them as breeding stock. (No sales tax needs to be paid on breeding stock sales in most states.) To cover the "pet" sales, they would list only re-homed $5.00 rabbits, and which would not amount to large taxable sums or the $500.00 annual requirement for the AWA permit. Declaring *no* pet sales at all would be much more suspicious, eh?

Now, I'm certainly not advocating that you "work around the laws," here... I'm just relaying what others have done in these cases. Seems that rabbit breeders, in particular, are extremely sensitive to the "Big Brother is Watching You" syndrom. As such, there is a lot of "under the table" stuff that goes on in the rabbit industries.

Pat Lamar
President
Professional Rabbit Meat Association
http://www.prma.org/

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  #17  
Old 03/25/04, 03:04 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 144

LOL!! I WISH I could sell that many! And thanks again for all your help! Still no answers from IL, McHenry or the extension office, so you are a life-saver!

No... If I get back into it like I would want to... It would probably be more like $500 a year TOTAL, and couldn't probably do even that till next year. Reason I'd like to sell to a store or two is that its easier to stay with the zoning - no cars clogging our little road (in the burbs again). By appointment is the other option but requires advertising too much - so for that would 'sell' at farmer's markets through simple brochures and make appointments there for them to come see/purchase the rabbits. (I like that because I can see how they will be treated, too, show them how to pick them up, what I use for feed, etc etc etc)

For the next couple years it would be more a hobby - I'm REALLY hoping to get into a permanent place by the end of next year, early 2006.... at that point, I'd like to do this as a 'real' business again. Just not when we're moving every year, lol!

DH doesn't like to take a lot of animals with us (mainly because there are three dogs, a cat and the 'pet' rabbit already - and they all travel seperately), and I HATE selling off my good stock... Would be great if they could 'pay for themselves' though - no need just yet for profits, those right now are 'cream'.

I'd prefer the AWA license for a business venture - not so much because I like it, but because then I'd have more credibility as a breeder. Its a lot easier to just show a license than to show pictures of the place along with a long list of guidelines if they ask, lol! I've asked the USDA for the regs anyway (better to be prepared than caught behind the 8 ball!). I also copy/paste/printed them.

I've found that the stores I dealt with (in Idaho) were happy to get some general information cards, feeding/housing guidelines and hints for training from me. Whether or not the customers tossed them I don't know, but they were put in the bag with the feed on every purchase. I TRY to deal with private stores, as chains are a pain anyway.... Those places tend to make the case of PETA and others... though I have to say that round here there are a couple chains that seem really good. I always thought my bunnies with their toys, etc and time outside were rather spoiled... some of those pet stores made me look like a rank amateur!!

What did surprise me a little was the heat requirement... But that's not all that hard to take care of with a heat lamp or two if the operation is small like mine is. "My girl" seems euphoric when the temps are about 25 degrees, lol! Otherwise, I SEEM to be better than well within the guidelines on all the other stuff - which was a relief, lol!

Off of your site I picked up a couple things and ideas I'm going to incorporate into my plans, too... Now if I can ever get out of the planning/hobby stage again - and STAY PUT for a while, we're all good to go!!

I also wanted to express some surprise and much gratitude for your piece on alternative markets... Some of them I knew about from when I was in Idaho, but others I'd never even thought of!! Great work! Very informative site!

Sue

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