Ferret ban in California not gone just yet

urlBad news for ferret lovers: Your pet is still illegal in California.

But change may be coming.

On Thursday, the California Fish and Game Commission continued reconsideration of the ban on domestic ferrets that’s been in place since 1933 until its next meeting after staff has had time to review new documents. 

A petition signed by 1,376 people prompted the commission to consider the matter — the latest move in a battle that’s been going on for decades.

Pat Wright, from the group Legalize Ferrets, who is basically the Cesar Chavez of the ferret movement, submitted a required environmental review document to the commission (Wright claims to have submitted the document multiple times), and outlined his simple list of requests: That the commission permit domestic ferrets that are sterile, that have had a rabies vaccine and after the owner pays a $100 licensing fee at the time of purchase.

“We think it’s a win-win situation for everybody,” said Wright, who brought along a documentary crew to the hearing. “And we are kinda wondering why we’re here because ferrets are a domestic animal.”

A veterinarian spoke of the need to remove the ban so that illegal ferrets could get proper medical treatment. Other speakers told tales of important ferrets from their lives:

Kimberly Richard, a ferret enthusiast and the environmental chair for the Democrats of Napa Valley, talked about her childhood pet Mr. Weazermeister, who thought everyone was his best friend, especially a rabbit named “Thumper” (CalWatchdog could not confirm the spelling of Mr. Weazermeister’s name).

“I just heard about this — oh my god,” said Kimberly Richard, a ferret enthusiast and environmental chair for the Democrats of Napa Valley. “What state bans ferrets?”


In fact, California and Hawaii are the only states with bans on domestic ferrets. Wright’s petition argued that the Department of Fish and Game has not identified any problems with feral ferrets in other states.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is concerned that ferrets, and a thousand other animals like alligators, African lions and monkeys, would get wild, become feral, reproduce and wreak havoc on native populations — similar to the Burmese python population in Florida’s Everglades — by doing things like spreading rabies and going buckwild in chicken coops.

Previous efforts to overturn the ban have been denied because a commission ruling in 2000 has never been satisfied, according to the commission. Back then, the commission determined that any new petitioner needed to fund the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report before reconsideration.

In 2010, Wright commissioned a study from a scientist at California State University, Sacramento, but the commission determined it did not satisfy its requirements. At the hearing, Wright said his group had spent $18,500 on “jumping through hoops.”

Next steps

Commission staff reiterated that while the 177-page study submitted by Wright covered a broad range of issues, it was not a full environmental impact report.

The additional document Wright submitted on Thursday was an environmental impact report checklist, which staff will review between now and the next hearing to determine what further steps, if any, need to be taken. 


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  1. milton
    milton 25 August, 2016, 18:20

    Lara must be pushing them for legal status….

    Reply this comment
    • Richard Rider
      Richard Rider 25 August, 2016, 22:44

      Actually, the average ferret would be a smarter voter than a typical Democrat.

      Reply this comment
      • Ted. Mentor to the doomed....
        Ted. Mentor to the doomed.... 27 August, 2016, 08:47

        Dick Rider— Yeah, you’re right….you Repubs/conservatives/however you hide look pretty darn smart with Don Trump…..bwahahahaha


        Reply this comment
        • Richard Rider
          Richard Rider 28 August, 2016, 13:03

          DEMOCRATS — who have been in charge in the state legislature since 1970 — have continued the CA ferret ban, in spite of the fact that ferrets are legal in 48 states without any problems. Such a coordinated, multi-generational demonstration of collectivist stupidity is remarkable. Sadly, you Democrats are up to the task.

          Granted, the GOP should be castigated for picking Trump — but I concede the gold “stupidity” metal to Democrats, who are much more consistently idiotic.

          Reply this comment
          • Ted. Mentor to the doomed....
            Ted. Mentor to the doomed.... 29 August, 2016, 08:04

            LOL Ricky— You are counting angels on the head of a pin little buddy…..zzzzzzz…..snoozy intellect……

            You repubs have nominated an immature racist liar and nuclear clown cowboy to lead the free world and manage our nuke launch system! And you are worried about the Dems and Ferrets? You fit right in the clown car—– fools like you have driven the GOP/conservatism into the ditch—– grow up.

          • Pat Wright
            Pat Wright 29 August, 2016, 09:38

            Republicans share the blame for the ferret ban. Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a ferret legalization bill authored by Dede Alpert, a Democrat on the last possible day in 2004. Schwarzenegger, as a candidate said he would sign the bill if it made it to his desk. But we all know now that Schwarzenegger is not a man of his word

          • teufel
            teufel 26 May, 2018, 15:00

            I know this is a necro thread, but DICK… when a ferret LEGALIZATION bill was finally passed by the democrat control legislature it was VETO’d by the republican governor… So please STFU your party is as much to blame.

  2. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 26 August, 2016, 09:21

    I can remember back a few years ago when someone preposed a bill to legalize farrets one advocate was dressed ina stupid ferret costume and well as far as im concered they should remain banned who know what they can to birds in the areas

    Reply this comment
    • Fert mom
      Fert mom 26 August, 2016, 10:04

      Domestic Ferrets don’t kill birds or eat their eggs. They don’t live in the wild anywhere and are legal all over the world except California and Hawaii and have caused zero damage to the environment. They are pet store animals like hamsters and Guinea pigs and are unable to survive for long if not cared for by humans. They are the 3rd most popular pet nationwide after cats and dogs.

      Reply this comment
    • tilliesings
      tilliesings 26 August, 2016, 10:12

      Domestic ferrets cannot survive in the wild. They do not know how to hunt prey, as most are fed kibble, and most likely would be prey to other animals, even dogs.

      Reply this comment
      • BRUTIS Ferret
        BRUTIS Ferret 26 August, 2016, 11:29

        So true. They are very smart and a very loving pet Its time for California to get it right this time and legalize ferrets. Domestic ferret could not live very long once out on there own .

        Reply this comment
    • Joe Ferret
      Joe Ferret 26 August, 2016, 10:26

      I do! We have the research. No damage. Let freedom ring!

      Reply this comment
    • AngelaG
      AngelaG 26 May, 2018, 22:04

      Hi there they don’t do anything to birds as domesticated ferrets cannot live outdoors in the wild. If they got out they would be dead within 24 hours as a domestic ferret would be prey to any regular cat or dog. They would not know how to feed themselves if they got outside

      Reply this comment
  3. Angela
    Angela 26 August, 2016, 09:27

    Legalize our babies

    Reply this comment
  4. Queeg
    Queeg 26 August, 2016, 19:23


    Command economies have few resources to allocate to pet sustenance….budget carefully, accordingly. Hug your ferret while you can-

    Reply this comment
  5. Mike
    Mike 26 August, 2016, 20:29

    Ferrets are better for the state than illegals, cost less than retired Caltrans workers(nicer too) and won t own guns. They do belong to the NRA.
    Hip, hip, hooray for Fernando the ferret. As a bonus. they are multiracial, and just do not care about gender, unless they are horny..I challenge anyone to find a ferret that uses drugs.

    Reply this comment
  6. Ted. Mentor to the doomed....Builder of the FUTURE!
    Ted. Mentor to the doomed....Builder of the FUTURE! 27 August, 2016, 08:49

    At least the Ferrets aka “freedom doggeis” are not racist like alot of CWD poster/clowns!

    Reply this comment
  7. John John
    John John 16 September, 2016, 19:44

    Ted mentor to the doomed time to go back to school and this time LISTEN in social studies when the part about our government and how to works comes around it takes and ACT OF CONGRESS for a president to declare war remember WW II when Roosevelt went before congress to ask they declare war on Japan ? Or where you using history class as your nap time ? Obama nor any president can launch nukes without congresses permission DUH !!!! What I would be worried about is another obama (San penis) using her executive powers to take away more of your rights because in all of the USA history only obama has used executive power to do a runaround congress so don’t worry so much about trump after all there were 4 other presidents that people especially there aposing candidate said they were not qualified to be president one even admired he’s wasn’t qualified, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower so you keep supporting the 3rd Obama term and I’ll support someone I think will actually change things

    Reply this comment
    • teufel
      teufel 26 May, 2018, 15:07

      You are really clueless. The POTUS does NOT need congressional approve to start a nuclear war.
      “Only the President can direct the use of nuclear weapons by U.S. armed forces, including the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP). While the President does have unilateral authority as commander-in-chief to order that nuclear weapons be used for any reason at any time, the actual procedures and technical systems in place for authorizing the execution of a launch order requires a secondary confirmation under a two-man rule, as the President’s order is subject to secondary confirmation by the Secretary of Defense. If the Secretary of Defense does not concur, then the President may in his sole discretion fire the Secretary. The Secretary of Defense has legal authority to approve the order, but cannot veto it.

      Reply this comment
  8. AngelaG
    AngelaG 26 May, 2018, 22:06

    Hi there they don’t do anything to birds as domesticated ferrets cannot live outdoors in the wild. If they got out they would be dead within 24 hours as a domestic ferret would be prey to any regular cat or dog. They would not know how to feed themselves if they got outside

    Reply this comment

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