Are Ferrets Legal In California 2022? Why Is It Illegal To Keep Them?

Are Ferrets Legal In California?

Are Ferrets Legal In California: Ferrets are known popularly to be domesticated as pets throughout the United States, but illegal in California! But why is it forbidden in California? Let’s find out why! 

What Are Ferrets?

Ferrets are small domesticated species that belong to the Mustelidae family. Ferrets are the domesticated form of the wild polecat or European ferret, as a result of their interfertility. Other members of the mustelids are badger, stoat, and mink.

Ferrets physically look like other mustelids because of their long and thin body with their tail inclusive. Their weight is between 0.8 and 2.1kg, their average length is 50cm and their fur can be brown, white, black and a mixture of other colors. They exhibit dimorphism- this means they occur in two distinct types of individuals, the male is usually larger than the female.

Why Are Ferrets Illegal In California? | Digitalvaluefeed

Most people believe that ferrets were bred for sport, used for hunting rabbits in an exercise known as rabbiting. However, the ferret has become a choice of pets of homes in North America, with over 4 million in the United States alone. Its legality varies by location. 

Also, the ferret is very as a research animal. They assist in the research of infectious diseases like influenza and neuroscience research. Most times the domestic ferret is misunderstood with the black-footed ferret.

Are Ferrets Illegal in California?

One may ask, are ferrets illegal to own in California?

The answer is Yes, ferrets are forbidden by law to own as pets in California. But in specific cases, permits can be granted by the California Fish and Game Department for the transportation, possession, or importation of ferrets to the state. But this applies in strict circumstances, mainly for animal science research programs.

When Ferrets Became Illegal

This started in 1933 when laws that covers animal importation and wild birds stated that ferrets were not permitted to be transported or imported to California unless a permit is obtained from the Fish and Game Commission.

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Also, a document was released, titled “Rules and Regulations Governing the Importation of Wild birds and Animals” to proscribe completely the importation of ferrets because of the law made by the Fish and Game Commission as well the Food and Agriculture Department.

Why Ferrets Are Illegal In California?

There are certain reasons why ferrets are forbidden to own in California, but it is mostly based on what was known about ferrets in the past.

— Ferrets Are Aggressive And Wild:

The first reason is that ferrets are termed wild animals. While others claim that ferrets have been with humans for more than 2000 years. Their ability to be domesticated and live as pets in places (countries and states) is major proof of their mild nature.

Just like other domesticated pets (cats and dogs), ferrets do not have fear for human beings, which also sets them apart from wild animals. Also, ferrets can also be aggressive just like other domesticated pets. It means that it can bite for several reasons like the dog does.

— Ferrets Transmit Rabies:

Rabies can be transmitted from an infected animal to another through scratches and bites. The chance of ferrets getting depends on whether they go out of the house or not.

They don’t need daily walks like dogs, neither do they need to wander the environment like cats. But they need to be let out of the cage at least twice a day for some exercise.  Ferrets cannot live on their own for long, so getting rabies and going back home is uncommon.

— Ferrets Affect The Wild When Released To The Wildlife:

Ferrets are predators because they are Mustelids. The diet of a natural ferret consists of small animals like reptiles, rodents, and even birds. There is a possibility for ferrets to chase down other animals and perhaps eat a few. Though it wouldn’t affect the wildlife excessively.

California’s weather is warm even during summer and it is not conducive for ferrets because they can’t handle hot weather.

However, owning ferrets as pets in California can result in a jail term, criminal charges, and even monetary fines. The fines may be from $600 to $10,000 or even more.

Finally, we have seen that owning a ferret pet in California is highly prohibited. If you want to consider getting a ferret pet, you can rule it out and consider other domesticated pets like cats or dogs. the question is Are Ferrets Legal In California? The answer is yes they are!

If you have got some value in this expository post, kindly comment and share with your friends who may like want to arm themselves with this information. Thanks!


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