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The information herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Ferrets Anonymous or its representatives, and has not been checked for accuracy. This information is provided solely as one possible source of legalization information for Californians and others who are interested in "the cause."

The Ongoing Ferret Hysteria and Lies

AUTHOR: Hildy Langewis
FROM: Ferret Focus, Issue #6, January 1995
DATE: circa January 1995

I would like to put to print some of the ongoing problems with ferret hysteria in California, especially as spread by the California Department of Fish & Game (DFG).

First, they often use the generic 'ferret' to refer to all wild ferrets, where the opposite is more often the case. The word 'ferret' most often refers to the domestic ferret, unless one is referring to the only other ferret in North America, the endangered Black-Footed Ferret. Since Black-Footed Ferrets are not native to California, one would assume 'ferret' means the domestic variety when in California.

Second, Fish & Game expects domestic ferrets to survive in the wild. What they base this hypothesis on is beyond us, since there is not one documented case of a feral (wild) colony of ferrets anywhere in the world -- even where man tried to establish one on-purpose. Add to that the simple fact that the Black-Footed Ferret has taken years of man's intervention to keep it from becoming extinct (an animal that knows how to hunt, unlike the domestic variety), and no reasonable person could come to Fish & Game's conclusion.

Third, Fish & Game expects the nonexisting feral ferrets to compete for food with other animals. How can an animal who only knows how to 'hunt' for cat food and Linatone, and has no wild population, do anything to indigenous species? We need not mention the damage wild dogs and cats (especially cats) do to existing ecosystems.

Lastly, why can domestic ferrets be bred for research legally in California? Researchers use ferrets because of the very trait Fish & Games says ferrets do not have -- docility. Nobody wants a vicious, hard to control animal for dozens of research trials. Who is right, DFG or scientists?

The Department of Fish & Game shows no end to the strange logic they use. They have gone so far as to order wildlife centers, petting zoos, and park departments to surrender ferrets. This compounded by the dozens of other unsubstantiated 'reasons' we get for why domestic ferrets should not be legalized -- such as rabies scares, child maulings, poultry threat, etc. -- and you can see why it has taken over twelve years of researching and data gathering to get where we are today -- into a strong enough position to introduce legislation.


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