Ferrets may gain free rein in California

Jul 01, 2001
By staff

Sacramento, Calif.-Although ferrets may live peaceably in most other states, California officials hands a $1,000 fine to any daring ferret owner they catch in the state.

But that may be about to change, according to state officials. A California law intact since 1933, bans ownership of ferrets, but for years state officials have tried to get the law repealed without success - until now.

Sen. Sheila Kuehl, Senate Appropriations Committee chairwoman, supports a bill before the legislature. If passed, Hawaii would be the only remaining state to ban ownership of the animal.

The bill would require the Department of Fish and Game to study the environmental impact of ferrets. It would also enable anyone who owned a ferret before May 1 to keep it legally beginning January 1, if the animal is spayed or neutered and vaccinated before then.