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Dont Call Rudy Guiliani a Weasel: He Hates Them


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New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been in hot water among many pet lovers since he initiated the ban against domestic ferrets as pets in New York City in 1999. The former Mayor continues to be adamantly and almost bizarrely against ferrets,  He has periodically ranted about ferrets when the subject has come up over he years. He lashes out at people who like ferrets.  This is a cartoon portrayal but the audio is real for a bizarre radio appearance.

Giulliani had expressed concern that, “In New York City’s multiple dwelling residences, which are not natural habitats of ferrets, a ferret could crawl through holes in walls or travel through risers or ducts to other apartments, with potentially tragic consequences for the neighbor of a ferret owner.” Domestic ferrets are legal in cities including Chicago, Houston, Atlanta….in fact, in all major U. S. cities except those in California and Hawaii, where they are banned state-wide. And there isn’t a single confirmed report of an escape ferret slinking its way through ductwork and attacking people. I’m not even sure that happens in the movies – but certainly not in real life.

On one occasion when speaking about his accomplishments in office – in the same breath as talking about less crime, shutting down lots of porn shops – Rudy Giuliani talks about getting ferrets off the street.

In California, the California Fish and Game Commission in October, snubbed Pat Wright, of legalizeferrets.com and longtime ferret advocate when yet again asking the Commission to designate that domestic ferrets are indeed – as their names implies – domestic. He said, “We all know domestic ferrets aren’t wild animals.” But the commission insists they might well be wild animals. They’re not so sure. Well, scientists view wild animals as wild, and suggest domestic ferrets are not wild animals. The is no equivocation based on DNA evidence.

One valid point made by a fan on my Facebook page is that most domestic ferrets sold in the pet trade are mass produced at a place called Marshall Farms. Unsure of welfare of  raising warehoused ferrets  and most certainly veterinarians agree that limited genetic diversity has impacted their susceptibility to disease and shortened lifespans. And while I certainly don’t support ferrets being brought up in this manner, I don’t believe an outright ban based on myth and misinformation is beneficial or fair. Ferrets’ curiosity and insatiable love to play make them fun to be around and elicit laughter by watching their antics.  Absolutely, these smelly little weasels aren’t for everyone , but why shouldn’t people who enjoy them be allowed to have them. And incidentally, domestic ferrets are domestic.

 

 

 

 

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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