Make ferrets legal in California.

Make ferrets legal in California.

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Jake Smith started this petition to Governor Gavin Newsom

1 Pet Human Bond: We are a pet crazy people who love our pets. Pets don’t judge, they love us unconditionally – they’re adorable. So some of us include ferrets in our pet family. Something is terribly wrong in that these particular pets are wrongly classified as wild and therefore are prohibited.

2 Neither Fish nor Wildlife: The domestic ferret is the only domestic pet under the jurisdiction of the California Fish and Game Commission, which is responsible for regulating wild animals in California. They get around this by claiming ferrets are “exotics.” While domestic ferrets are clearly not wild by any definition, it is much harder to prove they are not exotic animals since “exotic” is a subjective term.

3 Bad for Economy: By being one of only two states to ban domestic ferrets, (the other being the island eco-system of Hawaii), we have another case of over-regulation in California. Also, most ferrets sold in neighboring states are sold to Californians and all the tax money that went along with the purchase of the ferret and supplies does not go to California.

4. Erodes Trust in our Public Representatives: It seems the only people who have access to state legislators are those with influence. Influence comes from money and the ability to direct campaigns your way. California ferret owners don’t seem to be a particularly wealthy group and have had no access to any legislator except Assemblyman Tim Donnelly for several years. It doesn’t really feel like we have a government “of the people, by the people.”

5 We’ve been lied to: The ferret ban is based on lies. California’s ban on ferrets and the reasons used to back it up are the “Reefer Madness” of our times. Several comical reports issued by the likes of the Department of Health Services clearly make up the facts. ?There is no Reason to Ban Ferrets in the First Place?. The people behind the ferret ban cannot provide one single argument against ferrets that holds up under any kind of scrutiny. When faced with that statement we are told “We (California Fish and Game Commission) don’t have time”… or “we don’t need another animal running around in California.”

6. Ferrets Are Already in California: In fact, Californians own more ferrets than New York and Texas combined. According to the pet industry, Californians buy 27% of the nation’s ferret supplies. In spite of this, the dire predictions from the California Fish and Game Commission have failed to materialize.

7. Not Everybody Can Have a Dog or a Cat: Some people have allergies to dogs or cats or they don’t have room. Ferrets (despite being demanding in certain areas) don’t take much room, don’t bark, don’t stalk the neighbor’s bird feeder or use their garden as a litter box. Also, many people allergic to cat and dog dander can tolerate ferret dander. For some people – ferrets are the perfect pet.

8. The Rest of the World Allows Ferrets: With the exception of Hawaii and few municipalities and backward regions of a few countries, ferrets are legal everywhere. Even New York City is seriously considering lifting their ferret ban. NYC officials admit their 15-year ferret ban had no positive effects. So if ferrets are legal from Nome to Patagonia – there is no reason that California needs to be different.

9 Mental Health – Ferrets Are Good Therapy: Pets of all kinds are good de-stressors. Who doesn’t feel better after a long and difficult day receiving the unconditional love of their dog, cat — or maybe a ferret? For some people a ferret’s clownish antics is just what we need to feel better, sometimes lifting us out of a pretty bad mood. And that’s illegal?!

10. It Just Ain’t Right to Ban Ferrets: Usually a prohibition is based on some logic for the public good. But the people behind the ferret ban don’t even pretend to serve the public on this issue. Sure, they cite harm to agriculture, the environment, public health or whatever as a reason; but asked for one example of anything bad happening in any of these areas by allowing ferrets – they say “we don’t have time” or “we don’t need another pet.”

11. Fear:  It just isn’t right that law-abiding (ordinarily) Californians have to live in fear of having their pet ferrets confiscated and possibly killed. Enforcement of the ferret ban is arbitrary and inconsistent. Ferret owners are subject to blackmail and threats from ex-spouses, disgruntled service people and neighbors. It rarely has anything to do with the ferrets and a lot to do with revenge. Ferret owners are fearful, but the ferrets end up paying the price.

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