Georgia looking into sale of "dangerous" baby chicks

Good news everyone! Georgia is making sure people are protected from the latest “dangerous” threat to our society…baby chicks. From WSBTV (with a h/t to AllOnGeorgia.com’s Jessica Szilagyi):

The Georgia Department of Agriculture says they’re investigating the illegal sale of animals at the North Georgia State Fair.

This week, animal activists with Georgia Animal Rights and Protection recorded cellphone video of workers selling baby chicks and baby pigs near the petting zoo.

Workers with North Georgia Animals were visited by Department of Agriculture investigators, who warned them against selling animals without a license.

“The North Georgia State Fair is not licensed for the sale of any poultry, or livestock,” said Julie McPeake, with the Georgia Department of Agriculture. “We have received complaints as well and are currently investigating.”

The state classifies the offense as a misdemeanor, but no workers were cited since none were caught in the act in person, according to the Department of Agriculture.

That’s right, folks. It’s a misdemeanor to sell animals without a license in Georgia (and a host of other states). This seems rather obtuse to say the least, and I feel the same way about cities which require pets to be licensed. It seems like a waste of government resources, especially when no charges have been filed.

What’s probably happening is some young kid screams at their parents, “I WANT A BABY CHICKEN!” and the parents give a tired look at the the chick’s owner, which says, “A little help here?” The farmer, looking to make cash, decides to sell the chick because it makes the kids happy, and the money can help pay for feed for other animals. The same goes for people buying baby pigs. I know several people who have owned pigs as pets, and this is probably a similar situation. Once the pig gets big enough the new owner can sell it to a butcher or pay the butcher to slice up the animal for bacon. What’s wrong with a little free markets?

The biggest factor in this investigation is the loss in tax revenue. Georgia gets $50 if someone makes up to $100 in pet sales, which means if someone sells one pet for a buck, they lose $49 (it could be as much as $99 if the state double dips and charges both a pet and bird sale fee). Then there’s the $100 kennel license if they have just ONE pet, etc. etc. etc. The state is making major bucks off Georgia’s $6B poultry industry, so it makes complete sense for them to want to crack down on this kind of behavior because they’re losing out on money.

This is morally wrong, and one of the most blatant example of government theft I can think of. The Georgia government is soaking up as much money as possible from farmers and pet breeders so it can justify its own existence and claim to keep its budget balanced. How in the world can the Georgia government claim they’re “small government” when they do intrusive government things like this?

It’s not the first time Georgia has decided to flex its big government muscles on animal control. Here’s what they did last year when bird flu was a bit of a concern (emphasis mine):

State officials on Tuesday confiscated and slaughtered three Georgia chicken flocks over concerns some of the birds were exposed to a devastating strain of bird flu.

The Department of Agriculture officials told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that they do not believe any of the impacted eggs and birds actually have the avian influenza that has led to the killing of more than 46 million chickens in 14 states, but that they cannot take a risk.

State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb told the AJC that Georgians at all locations purchased eggs or baby chicks from the same farm in Iowa. That farm had not tested positive for the avian flu when the purchases were made but has subsequently been found to be infected.

Stupid government officials acting stupidly. It’s no wonder people across the nation have such a low opinion of government. Maybe it’s time for state governments to decide what issues they really, really, really need to be involved in (not many) before going after pet zoo exhibitors or small business owners for “illegally” selling poultry.