Sierra Club Blocks Support to Legalize Domestic Ferrets in California

Posted by Christy Caplan
Ferret

We love ferrets here at Wide Open Pets. We recently wrote about 10 myths which you should read if you are interested in living with this unique animal. Unfortunately, it sounds like if you're in California you cannot bring home a ferret and here's why!

The argument is around a ferret's 'wild animal' status. Other wild animals are weasels, polecats, pine martens, and fishers.  

Let's back up and look at the facts:

  • Ferrets are legal in 48 states without any detrimental issues. In Hawaii, they are banned.  
  • Domestic ferrets have been kept as pets for over 2,000 years.
  • No state has reported ferrets living in colonies (as cats do) or attacking other animals. 
  • Ferrets were originally outlawed in 1933 when the state of California banned all mustelids. At the time nobody cared. But in the 1970's ferrets started to enter the pet trade.  

Yet, Sierra Club strongly opposes legalization in California. The rights of Californians to own domestic ferrets as pets is being blocked by the Sierra Club given they consider them wild animals like weasels!

According to animal expert, Steve Dale (I'm a huge fan) and Legalizeferrets.org,

"Sierra Club has long opposed holding wild animals as pets, but particularly when those animals could present a problem if they accidentally or intentionally are introduced into the state's natural areas. There are many, many examples of exotic critters that have become problems in California after being introduced into the wild. One that I am very familiar with is the bull frog, which has helped push out other amphibian species in certain habitats since its introduction in the 19th century."

Some feel the Sierra Club is misinformed. Steve Dale raises the point that if ferrets are confiscated as a result of this law, then everyone loses.

If you want to live with a ferret and make an impact on any future decisions, then sign this petition!

This video will provide some insight into both sides of the argument.

Ferret legalization in the state of California is absolutely at a critical point.

Legalizeferrets.org tells us,

"But where are the facts, the data? There are no wild domestic ferrets and they've never gone feral. But our opponents (Sierra Club) keep using outdated material and refuse to reexamine the issue."

Without any knowledge, documentation or reports, the Sierra Club of California is on record as opposing ferret legalization in California. So what will happen to the pet ferrets living there currently? Ferret owners are ignoring the law and living with these domestic animals anyway.

Do you or anyone you know, live with a ferret? Please comment below! 

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Sierra Club Blocks Support to Legalize Domestic Ferrets in California