Lift the African Pygmy Hedgehog Ban in Georgia
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In 90% of the country, hedgehogs are legal. Why can't they be legal here in Georgia? It's already been proven that they can exist and be pets and are successfully in the surrounding states. And how much sense does it make to ban them as pets here, but to allow the breeding of them. That's the reason I got into this in the first place because I love them and wanted many of them, but it would have been illegal to do that. When I found out that I could legally have my hedgehogs by being a licensed breeder, I decided to go that route that way I could have my pets legally, without the intentions of breeding I might add. It just so happened that I decided to pursue the avenue of a professional hedgehog breeder after doing extensive research and having multiple experienced mentors. It has been the greatest journey, and I know I have changed other people's lives as well by providing them with a baby.
Hedgehogs have given me an identity and purpose. I am a USDA licensed hedgehog breeder, and I do this because of the love I have for the animal and for the happiness of my peers. There's nothing more amazing, than to watch people's dreams come true right in front of me, all due to this amazing animal. They are wonderful companions, and they helped me tremendously with my social anxiety and test taking anxiety. Yes, I took them to college with me! It's the only way I made friends, and people knew me as the hedgehog lady. I take them with me to church, too. They make me feel safe and happy. This shouldn't be denied to anyone just because of the misinformation about the breed. To my knowledge, they're illegal because if they were released, they could disrupt the ecosystem. Now that is a huge misconception. African pygmy hedgehogs, the domesticated ones that are pets, HAVE to be in an environment at LEAST 72 degrees. It gets colder than that here, and this domesticated breed is not capable of surviving hibernation. I'd understand if we were talking about the European hedgehogs because they can successfully hibernate. I have the original links to these sources. Dr. Cobb was opposed to the passing of the bill due to concern about disease contraction. I looked into that, and found some clarification. There was a study citing rabies were carried in hedgehogs, but they didn't specifically mention what specie, after further research, I found a reference to the specie being a "wild european hedgehog" and that "no reports of rabies have been made in the african pygmy species" (Ferrets, Rabbits and Rodents etc)There's absolutely no reason why this specie should be illegal. Please sign and share.
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