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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » License to use Bunny in show (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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wizardpa
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It was brought up elsewhere in the forum that the USDA requires a magician to have a license in order to use a bunny in a magic show. I have called the USDA, and asked to have a packet/application sent out to me. I understand there will be a case worker assigned once I complete the application.
I would like for anyone that has a license for this, to respond and tell us just what is involved in this process? What is the case worker looking for in the inspection? How long the the process take?
After I get my license I'll post my experience.
tropicalillusions
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Wizardpa, That was me who brought up the licensing. If you will just be doing birthday parties ans Private Venues, then you should be ok. My issue was and is, I do a lot of state Fairs where animal acts are a part of the norm. Most hoof stock and other exotics are covered by licensing for their protection (animals) and the public. Basically any public exhibition of these animals. First step is ... you will recieve the booklet, This booklet will give you some simple guidelines to follow for your licensing. It will give you the amount of square inches needed per pound for your rabbit. thgis cage will need to be placed in an area free from other Natural preditors. Adequate heating and air to keep the critter comfortable. Easy for us since ours is in the house or Room addition. Clean and secure storage for their food, basically any tupperware that seals to keep mice and disease from the food. You will also have to do a vet visit . they will provide the paperweork for this vet visit as well. usually a 40 dollar bill covers this. This is also great just to help you keep your Rabbits health in check. Then you will be scheduled for a visit from a USDA REP. in our case it is a local vet that has taken on this responsibility due to the work case load in our area. They can do surprise visits at any time, but will not be the case for you since you are not a sanctuary open to Public but a home owner housing the critter. So they will call you to attempt to schedule a visit. . If you need me to. give me a shout and I can answer any in depth answers to any questions at another time. I just wanted to help get you started. Once again, for many small venues and private events, it may not be needed, but if doing major fairs or festivals then you run into a 50/50 chance of getting targeted.
wizardpa
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Thanks Chris,
I have not done any fairs or such, and 99% of my shows are private venues. But I plan on getting a license anyway.
As far as I know I already have everything covered anyway except for the vet visit which I'll do as soon as I'm supposed to.
Just guessing Chris, what is the approximate time line for all of this?
Chris
tropicalillusions
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After doing all your paperwork, and getting the vet to sign the papers. The time it takes to get your license is totally up to the inspector and his or her time available,What takes the time is to get the inspector to visit you, this will vary depending on their schedule. Hopefully you can get them to visit you quickly, The key is to keep communicating with your division be it western or eastern. Be courteous and kind at all times, try not to be rushing them . but the key is,,, if you have any questions before your visit in regards to meeting requirements, you can always call your regional office with the question, they will refer you to the certain pages in booklet that may apply to you and help you out to the fullest extent. So ... the visit could last just a few minutes, then they go over your paperwork, get that small check from you, then they will actually mail in the paperwork for you. it may take just a matter of a week to be licensed. write if you have anymore questions.
MagicalMotivator
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This really is not something specific regarding this post, but you might find it informative in light of what you are discussing.

Many years ago I did quite a few corporate gigs in the US and I would have to bring my doves into the country from Canada.

At the time I would have to have a vet inspect them in Canada - then get Agriculture Canada (our version of USDA) certify them - when landing in the US I would have to have a USDA vet meet me at the airport to certify the health and arrival of the doves. Nine times out of ten the vets had very little experience with birds - they would look in the cage and say "yep, their doves, their alive" - they signed the form, I paid them and that was it.

To leave the country I did not have to check with USDA unless it was beyond 30 days, in which case I would have to pay for a US vet to inspect them, then USDA to certify them. Regardless of this back in Canada it was another vet with Agriculture Canada certification.

Round trip - less than 30 days - it was at least $250 in fees, but well worth it once you knew what was involved in the paperwork and how to do it.

I know of a few horror stories of magicians trying to get across the border, simply because they did not follow the proper procedures. Also you had to know which flights were direct (airlines would not allow birds to fly if the plane did a temporary touch down in a state where the temprature could be at freezing on the tarmac) and could take the birds. In some cases we could spend at least a day just making travel arrangements for the birds!! Cast and crew were easy:)

However I have to say that all in all, my dealings with USDA was great - they were very professional, reasonable people to deal with.

Just another view.

MM
Rick Rossini The Magical Motivator
www.rossinimagic.com
www.magicalmotivator.com
tropicalillusions
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Motivator, you are correct, the USDA is not a bad entity at all. Treat them courteously and with respect, and they will do all in their powers to help you. Dealing with doves is still a tough issue, good to hear your stories, thanks for sharing.
wizardpa
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So glad to hear about this not being that bad. I will keep everyone posted as things progress.
Autumn Morning Star
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I found that the Animal Welfare Act does not currently seem to apply to birds or reptiles. I called the USDA number listed and they could not answer that question. I have a call in to someone who can be sure of the current updates. There are a few conflicting rules, which makes things a bit vague. When I speak with a USDA rep, I will let everyone know what applies. I know magic bunnies must be licensed.

"Animals Covered. The act applies to any live or dead dog, cat, nonhuman
primate, guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or other warmblooded animal determined by the
Secretary of Agriculture to be for research or exhibition, or used as a pet."

"The AWA explicitly EXCLUDES birds, rats, and mice bred for research; horses not used for research; and other farm animals used in the production of food and fiber.3 Animals sold in retail facilities are not covered, unless they are wild or exotic animals. Cold-blooded animals like fish and reptiles also are excluded from coverage."

Here is a link to this page: http://www.southalabama.edu/researchcomp......port.pdf
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
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David Charvet
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It's interesting that the AWA also applies to "dead" animals!

Posted: Mar 24, 2011 6:53pm
Also the USDA and CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. http://www.cites.org) already have regulations for exotic birds/parrots.
wizardpa
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Oh No! Please don't tell me I need a license for my Axtell Expressions Talking Toucan Puppet?
Autumn Morning Star
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Quote:
On 2011-03-24 18:51, David Charvet wrote:
It's interesting that the AWA also applies to "dead" animals!

As macabre as it seems, there are a handful of heartless, sick people who would kill their performing animal when confronted by authorities rather than be cited. Think: "Bad circuses with problem animals, Greyhound races with hounds that finish last, cock fighters with losing roosters, etc.] By including dead animals, the AWA has more teeth and animals are more protected. Isn't that terrible to even imagine someone so cold and cruel?
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
wizardpa
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I said I'd keep everyone posted about the process to obtain a license for using rabbits in my magic show.
I've just received my packet today, 5 days after I called the USDA.
I have not had time to look over the application yet. I does not seem to be too involved though.

Posted: Mar 26, 2011 7:09pm
Well I filled out my application in about 5 minutes and I read over the Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare regulations, pertaining to rabbits, and as far as I know I'm in compliance. I'll be sending out my application and my $10 check on Monday.
Cyberqat
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Quote:
On 2011-03-24 21:14, Autumn Morning Star wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-03-24 18:51, David Charvet wrote:
It's interesting that the AWA also applies to "dead" animals!

As macabre as it seems, there are a handful of heartless, sick people who would kill their performing animal when confronted by authorities rather than be cited. Think: "Bad circuses with problem animals, Greyhound races with hounds that finish last, cock fighters with losing roosters, etc.] By including dead animals, the AWA has more teeth and animals are more protected. Isn't that terrible to even imagine someone so cold and cruel?


I think there is a less macabre reason for that clause.

Note that it refers to "exhibition" as one thing covered. There was a time when Taxidermy (particularly creative taxidermy) was a regular part of side shows. Dead animals can still carry disease bearing pests if not treated and stored properly.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
wizardpa
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OK, I'll be sending my application and $10 check out today, 1 week exactly to the day I first called the USDA. I also have an appointment today with a vet for my rabbits initial checkup. I keep the PVC, and the aphis form 7002 at my house after I get the vet to sign those forms.
One thing I found weird is how few vets handle rabbits. As far as I know without calling every vet, is that there are only 2 out of 74 vets in a 50 miles radius that do handle rabbits.
tropicalillusions
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My vet looked over the paperwork and said,,,,,,,,HUH????? so we had him call the regional office to understand what all we definately needed to discuss as far as diseases etc. Although he is good with the rabbits as far as vet care, but Wizardpa is correct, some vets are just good ole dog and cat, or perhaps horses as well here in oklahoma. I have finally found one that is great with the birds. Thank goodness, Wizardpa, keep us posted.
wizardpa
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Well, I'm another step closer. My rabbits got checked out by the vet today and both are great. My vet did not know about the USDA's requirements for having a license either.
I had even called the USDA today to make sure I filled out the application correctly. As Chris from tropicalillusions said: The USDA has been nothing but extremely helpful. The girl from the USDA said the process should only take 4-6 weeks if all goes OK.

My vet gave me a web site to look at: http://www.houserabbit.org or http://www.rabbit.org. I'll be going there now to check it out.
tropicalillusions
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Morningstar, when I last spoke with my inspector, he had also stated that the USDA is going to have guidelines for the hookbills, but not to soon, Having issues on guidelines to write up for folks to follow. They say it will take some time to get in ironed out but they are working on it. It would be fun to sit in on that staff meeting to get that organized........ Wizardpa, sounds like you got it going on my friend. Remember,,, the USDA is your friend....LOL.
wizardpa
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Oh by the way for anyone following this post and planning to get a license, you will have to take your rabbit to a vet. I found out that is not so easy. Very few vets treat rabbits, but if you go to that http://www.rabbit.org web site you'll be able to find a list of vets by state.
DominotheGreat
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Has anybody been caught. I hear a lot of people that the bunny patrol is out all over the use. What a surprise the gov't needs to get money, and I hear there are some very crazy rules you have to agree to when you get the license!
1906Alpha1906
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I have a buddy in South Carolina that at one point used an advertisement about having a rabbit, and sure enough, he got a phone call which he thought was a booking, but the lady started questioning about his rabbit, and after a few more questions, she asked if he had a license for the rabbit, and from there it went downhill on the conversation. She was with an agency that dealt with that sort of thing and gave him a warning that he'd better have a license or he would get fined if he was caught. He since has changed his advertisement and advertisement photo.

-Alpha
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