Hoctor v. United States Department Of Agriculture

82 F.3d 165 (7th Cir. 1996)


Hoctor (P) began dealing with exotic animals on his farm outside of Terra Haute. In his 25-acre farm, P raised a variety of animals including big cats. At the suggestion of the veterinarian employed by the Agriculture Department, P made the perimeter fence six feet high. The following year, the Department issued an interim memo that dangerous animals, big cats were included, must be inside a perimeter fence at least eight feet high. The agency claimed this was an interpretative rule interpreting the housing regulations of the Animal Welfare Act. As such, it was not required to follow rulemaking procedures. P was cited for noncompliance and disputed that sanction.