Law & Regulations
Invariably ferrets seem to get themselves mixed into legal situations of one sort or another. Be it involving housing; rights of ownership; or in some places how many one can own – to the credit or detriment of their owners depending on one’s point of view. Bottom line, part of the Ferret Association of Connecticut’s Mission is to support the welfare of ferrets as well as the rights of ferret shelters and owners. When appropriate, we give expertise and moral support. Here we document some of our efforts over the years.
FACT is a member of Connecticut Votes for Animals and when possible attends meetings and is involved in legislative efforts at the State Capital. There are several ferret/animal welfare issues that the Ferret Association of Connecticut supports in Connecticut. The are:
- Elimination or at the very least strict restriction on the sale of ferrets in pet stores in the state to those who have received their rabies vaccination and full disclosure of canine distemper status and requirements
- Introduction of standards for in-home animal shelters
- Inclusion of basic small animal training for animal control officers
Ferrets were illegal to own in Massachusetts for many years and finally became legal to own on March 7, 1996. Several of FACT’s early members helped provide testimony to the Department of Fish and Game. Along with the help of the Ferret Unity and Registry Organization, FACT produced and provided data as well as solicited support from our country-wide database of donors to write and call to help the legalization effort.
While the residents of Massachusetts and the members of Massachusetts Ferret Friends finally made it happen, we are proud of our supportive role in the process.
New York City
The legal status of ferrets within the 5 boroughs of New York City has been somewhat ambiguous over the last 25 years depending on who or when one asked. Finally at one point the Department of Health codified that they were illegal to own leaving ferret owners in limbo and fearful of obtaining proper veterinary care for their pets.
Ariel Jasper, a NYC resident, petitioned the Department of Health to reconsider and change the regulation. FACT lent support via testimony and a robust email and newsletter campaign resulting in one of the most highly commented NYC Department of Health Public Rules in a very long time. From the usual 3 to 8 comments, the committee considering testimony received over 90 online comments (only 1 negative) and another (supportive) signed letters that FACT delivered along with our Shelter Director’s comments to the committee on January 21, 2915. You can read the proposed rule, all the comments and supporting commentary provided in the following documents. We do not have access to any of the comments provided directly at the hearing. Our understanding from Ariel is that only one lay person spoke publicly against the proposed rule change. (Note: of the 95 comments, there are 3 or 4 comments about a separate rule involving dog dryers in pet stores).
New York City Department of Health Animals (Article 161) Rules
Public Comments – Page 1
Public Comments – Page 2
Public Comments – Page 3
Public Comments – Page 4
Public Comments – Page 5
Public Comments – Page 6
Public Comments – Page 7
Public Comments – Page 8
Public Comments – Page 9
Public Comments – Page 10
Consolidated Testimony & Supporting Letters – L. Vanessa Gruden – Part 1
Consolidated Testimony & Supporting Letters – L. Vanessa Gruden – Part 2
Supporting Document – Ann Gruden – Rabies Compendium 2011
Supporting Document – Letter – Glen Farney
Supporting Document – Letter – Della Farney, DVM