This ferret image above is copywrite 1997 Jeanne Carley/The Ferret Company. Used with permission. Please visit their site at www.ferretcompany.com
|Ferrets are illegal in California, one of only two states in which they are. Why? Well, according to the State Fish and Game Code 2118(b), ferrets |
"are restricted because such animals are undesirable and a menace to native wildlife, the agricultural interests of the state, or to the public health or safety."
How can such cute critters be "undesirable"?
|Well, there are some very broad excuses, er, reasons given by the state. When asked for something a bit more specific, officials are still reluctant to give a "real" reason. The best they can come up with are the following;
- Rabies.This so-called reason for the ferret-ban is totally not valid. There has been a ferret-rabies vaccine available for years!! Why not ban all dogs?? They can get rabies! Should we evict all squirrels? Raccoons? Round them all up and ship them to Arizona?
- The next most popular reason for banning ferrets is because the State fears they might destroy poultry farms. Nice try again boys, but it doesn´t fly. Just like chickens, in that respect. Anyway, all pet ferrets are domestic ferrets that have had every last ounce of hunting instinct bred out of them. A ferret would get pecked to death by a chicken in about a minute.
- While we are on the subject of the percieved harm to other animals by these so-called "blood-thirsty" little ferrets, we might as well talk about rabbits. The fear is that ferrets would destroy the native rabbit population. Again, I must stress that domestic ferrets have no hunting instincts left in them and would get stomped by a rabbit. But, ferrets were once used to hunt rabbits because a ferret is very curious, and when placed with it´s nose in front of a hole, every ferret alive is going to run down that hole! They love dark, confining spaces. Well, rabbits see this intruder in their burrow and run out another exit where a group of "sportsmen" are waiting to kill them. Half the time they would kill the ferret also! So it wasn´t the ferret doing the killing, but the human.
- Another concern of our elected officals in Sacramento is that ferrets will breed and take over the land. Another impossibility! All ferrets sold in pet stores are spayed or neutered, so how they will ever breed is waaaaay beyond me. Besides, a domestic ferret will never survive in the wild anyway. Cars, dogs, cats, coyotes, humans and lack of proper food all add up to a very short "wild" ferret life-span!
- The last reason given for the ferret-ban is that they bite. True, but so do dogs, cats, horses, hamsters, mice, rats, lizards and *all* animals, including humans! When properly trained, a ferret will not bite a person. The same cannot be said of Mike Tyson.
So, every single reason given by the State of California for their ban on ferrets is total BS. The restrictions on ferrets are simply because of prejudice against them and misinformation. Here´s a few links to other ferret fans that do a lot better of a job of explaining the plight of the California ferret than I;