OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- A state appeals court has upheld a fine against an Oakland pet food chain, saying fleas are pests so a flea-prevention product the company sold should have been labeled a pesticide.

State pesticide regulators fined Pet Food Express almost $213,000 for selling the product in 2002 and 2003 without branding them as a pesticide.

Pet Food Express argued that fleas did not meet the legal definition of pests -- insects or other creatures liable to become dangerous to the state's agricultural or nonagricultural environment.

But the First District Court of Appeal disagreed on Wednesday. The court said fleas have been responsible for plague and infest dogs and cats, which are part of the state's nonagricultural environment.

Pet Food Express attorney John Moore told the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/yo9vsY) the company did not violate the law intentionally and was treated unfairly.


Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

Copyright 2012 The AP.

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