University prof challenges California District Attorney prosecution of goat farmer over “license” requirements

From Kimberly Hartke on her “Hartke is Online” blog:

“Letter sent by college professor to California District Attorney, regarding goat share issue. Please note: this letter has been edited to disguise the identity of the author and recipient.

I have been following with horror the story of our Farm. I understand that you shut down the farm and its operations requiring owners to obtain a license granted by CDFA.  There are of course no health reasons to shut down the farm. There are no rational reasons either, no previous problems, no lawsuits, not even complaints about this farm. There is no research that can point to any threat either. As you know, no sale to the public occurs, only to share owners, thus there are no public health concerns either.

The reasons for closing down this farm are purely political and very bad ones at that. This “license” requirement is bogus of course. I hope you do not think that any of your constituents are actually buying this maneuver. This certification process essentially means that the legislation is set such that small farms cannot afford to obtain the license and thus cannot survive. The bar is set so high that it is not affordable to small dairy farms, and they will have to go out of business. Basically your actions indicate that you do not allow small farms to exist but only large commercial ones. In forcing the farm to obtain a license you have a big hand in creating a market in which only large businesses can operate with no possibility for small businesses to exist.

The worst part of reading the literature about this case was learning that you have a choice whether to pursue this case or not. Challenging you on legal grounds is not the purpose of this letter as I am not a lawyer. I am, however, a college professor in philosophy at a local University and I am writing this letter in this capacity. My area of specialty is ethics and political theory. This case is of great interest to me and my students, and it culminates several issues I teach throughout the semester: democracy, social justice, civil rights, free market capitalism, and citizens responsibility when voting. I always include current material in my classes, and this is a perfect case study since it encompasses the above issues, all of which you, the D.A., violate….”

Read it all on “Hartke is Online”.

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