Ferrets: Friends, not Foes

"I'm spunky but secretly sweet, especially when given raisins to eat!"

Here is a promising development: ferret supporters are challenging the ridiculous ban on ferret ownership in California. The 80-year-old California law contests that ferrets are detrimental to wildlife because if they escape from a house, they could potentially kill other species in the environment. (Tell that to (pet) snakes and any other animal desperate for a meal when fending for itself.) And yet the vast majority of states allow ferrets to be kept as pets. (Only Hawaii and California – and the city of New York – ban them.) So obviously, California legislators are missing something that other states have realized for years about the domesticated critters.

Here’s hoping 2012 will be the banner year for ferrets and their human fans in California!

(Nota Bene: There are two basic types of ferrets: the domestic ferret, found in pet stores, and the black-footed ferret. The domestic ferret is not a domesticated form of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), which was native to parts of the United States. The black-footed ones became extinct in the wild, but they are gradually being reintroduced through captive breeding programs. The black-footed ferret, a member of the weasel family, is the only ferret native to North America. The domestic ferret is a different species of European origin and has been domesticated for hundreds of years.)

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