‘Marty the Magician’ or Marty Hayne relates his experience:
“I wasn’t aware as a magician, with one rabbit, I needed a license.”
” I was actually busted during a performance at a library, for children… Back in 2005…. All of a sudden, an inspector threw a badge in my face and demanded to see my license.”
“I knew nothing about needing a license. It involves several hoops to jump through. A $40 license fee. A $60 vet. bill every year. Surprise inspections of my home whenever they want to inspect my rabbit.”
“I get inspected every year. They check temperature of the house, size of the cage, cleanliness of the food. “
” I did fail my first inspection. Unfortunately, my rabbit travel cage did not have 2 stickers on it saying ‘live animals’ with an arrow pointing up. And I inquired why I needed arrows pointing up and she replied, “So you’ll know how to carry the cage.” ( the cage was steel mesh so you could see through it. You could see the rabbit and which side is the top and bottom of the cage)
“And I told the inspector that most people would carry the cage by the handle. She wasn’t amused… And then latter, she pointed to a section in the rule book that says: “verbally abusing the inspector is one year in jail and a $1000 fine.”
“Last week, they added a whole new layer on. The written ‘Comprehensive Disaster Plan’ for one rabbit.”
“Looking at the requirements they want, ( A nationally recognized emergency expert, who has written such reports, offered to write the report for him), she is looking at a plan about 60 pages long, to cover my one rabbit.”
“I am not going to let the government stand in my way of cheering up a little kid…”
Watch him pull a USDA- mandated rabbit disaster plan out of his hat
In OZARK, Mo. — This summer, Marty the Magician got a letter from the U.S. government. It began with six ominous words: “Dear Members of Our Regulated Community . . .”
Washington had questions about his rabbit. Again.
Marty Hahne, 54, does magic shows for kids in southern Missouri. For his big finale, he pulls a rabbit out of a hat. Or out of a picnic basket. Or out of a tiny library, if he’s doing his routine about reading being magical.
To do that, Hahne has an official U.S. government license. Not for the magic. For the rabbit.
The Agriculture Department requires it, citing a decades-old law that was intended to regulate zoos and circuses. Today, the USDA also uses it to regulate much smaller “animal exhibitors,” even the humble one-bunny magician.
“Fire. Flood. Tornado. Air conditioning going out. Ice storm. Power failures,” Hahne said, listing a few of the calamities for which he needed a plan to save the rabbit.