Domestic ferrets are just that – domestic pets. It’s been that way for thousands of years. Interestingly, the state with the most pet ferrets is California. Yet, California is the only contiguous state which bans ferrets. The reason? I don’t know? Sadly, they don’t know either? Not really.
If you are a ferret lover or even an animal lover who agrees ferrets should be legalized – you can do something about it: consider signing this online change petition.
The state’s contention is that ferrets may get out and reproduce, creating feral populations and impacting the environment in the process. There are several problems with this argument. For staters, nearly all (and I mean at least 99 percent) of pet ferrets are spay/neutered. Reproducing would be quite a trick. When ferrets get out, unlike domestic cats, they sadly are ill-equipped to hunt on their own. The California Fish & Game Commission is worried about ferrets hunting chickens. Thing is, that’s not happened in any other state. Outdoors on their own, ferrets are far more likely to become prey than to act as predators.
Ferrets are also particularly prone to environmental extremes, which may occur in some parts of California. Moreover, as mentioned, there isn’t a known population of feral domestic ferrets anywhere in America, ever, ever, ever.
The truth is that in California the ferret ban continues to be travesty, a waste of dollars when ferrets are confiscated. Don’t the California Fish & Game Commission and animal control officers have better things to do?
Efforts to legalize ferrets have failed. Despite starring in a film with ferrets,Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (“Kindergarten Cop”) failed to act. Governor Jerry Brown says he has bigger fish to fry, sort of speak .
Meanwhile, people keep ferrets are pets anyway. Veterinarians are forced to offer care in the shadows. If enforcement catches up with a ferret owner, and wants to bother – the ferret may lose a life, and for no good reason, as well as at the expense of taxpayers.
A group called Legalizeferrets.org commissioned a study (Preliminary Environmental Impact Report on the subject from Sacramento State University) reveal facts, all at the request of the California Fish & Game Commission, and nothing came of it.
I offered a solution several years ago, which I still hope is considered. Legalize ferrets. However, mandate all ferrets are spay/neutered (which as I said, they nearly all are anyway), and mandate rabies vaccines.
California Fish and Game, meanwhile, offers no logic whatsoever as why they continue to block the legalization of pet ferrets because there is not logic. This is only about California politics- which I don’t pretend to understand – and individuals entrenched in positions – which I don’t understand.
I do understand that pet owners who choose these fun-loving pets build bonds the same as they do with dogs and cats. And that confiscated ferrets have died. This obtuse law regarding ferrets needs to be changed.