A comment from a reader named David brought this story to my attention. Marty the Magician got a notice from the USDA about the fact that he needs a disaster plan for his rabbit (see video for a glimpse of the hapless bunny). Not in case the performance goes pear-shaped. In case something else goes wrong. Now, what sort of disaster plan is Marty supposed to devise that he hasn't already thought up? Make sure you take all living props with you if you evacuate? One would think he's already provided for that.
As I was reading the Washington Post story and considering the background of the rule, I started to get the eerie feeling that I had heard the story before. And I had, sort of. The first or second post of this blog was "Magician Needs Federal Permit For Rabbit." Different prestidigitateur--same sort of problem.
After WaPo publicized magician Marty Hahne's problem, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack decided to review the agency's requirement that magicians have disaster plans--at least magicians who don't have operations the size of David Copperfield's. No word, though, on how long the review will take. Meanwhile, Mr. Hahne has to file his plan for the bunny (whose name is Charlie, by the way) by July 29th.
Update: Here at the American Bar Association Journal.