States Where Ferrets are Illegal: Know the Places Where Your Ferrets Are Not Allowed

Acquiring a ferret is easy but not in all places, because there are some parts of the US and even in other countries where ferrets are illegal even as house pets. So if you are considering getting a ferret, the first thing to know is whether or not, the state where you are in will allow you. Otherwise, you don’t have a choice but to abide because legal actions may be served against you.

The policies, whether local or state policies, regarding ferret ownership are changing periodically, which means if your pet ferret is legal to acquire today, perhaps tomorrow it could be changed. For this matter, you need to check your local government policies or animal control centers nearby for the latest information about ferret pet ownership. To give you information on what states and local governments where ferrets are illegal, read through the list below and the reasons for banning these animals.

ferrets are illegal in some states

Photo: StephenMitchell | Flickr

Places Where Ferrets are Illegal

  • California

In this state, anything that has to do with ferrets are illegal. You cannot sell a ferret here nor transport them, and even have ferrets as house pet. The only exception is when you have certification from the California Department of Fish and Game to possess a ferret, but even so, this permit could be very difficult to attain unless you have a very valid reason of owning a ferret.

So this means when you say ferrets are fun and cute animals and that you will die without them, that won’t pass as a good reason for them to grant you a permit even if this is a good enough reason for all ferret lovers out there. The only valid cases to get special permits include use for medical research, or transporting a rescued ferret out of the state boundaries.

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If you wonder what the reason is for banning ferrets here, they say that loose ferrets and those that were abandoned might create a wild population that would contradict or interfere with the native wildlife and affect the balance of their ecosystem.

  • Hawaii

Ferrets are illegal in Hawaii because of their fear that ferrets will carry the deadly rabies virus and affect other animals including humans. Owning a ferret, transporting, and any form of ferret possession is outright banned and will cause penalty fees and fines of up to $200,000 and 3 years of imprisonment.

  • New York

Ferrets are illegal all throughout the state also because of their concern about rabies infection and that ferrets are closely related to weasels which are potentially wild and dangerous animals. Since 1999, ferrets are illegal as mandated by the Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

  • Washington, D.C

The District of Columbia rejects having ferrets as pet and they have mandated it to be illegal under the housing code that strictly suggests that only dogs, cats, rabbits, fish, turtles, birds, domesticated rodents, and non-venomous snakes are the only allowed animals to be kept at home. Having a ferret could be possible though but it has to pass strict rules and a government certification must be acquired.

So generally speaking, ferrets are illegal because of the fear from this animals which as far as we know have been domesticated for over centuries now. Rabies and having wild behavior are the most common reasons for banning these animals. These reasons by far have been ruled out by animal behavior experts and veterinarians.

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First is that ferrets that contracts rabies will die immediately even before it could affect others. Second is that ferrets are relative to the wild weasels just like rabbits to wild rabbits, and some dog species that are related to coyotes and wolves. Since ferrets are domesticated for more than 2000 years now, it is just unfortunate that not all can appreciate the loving and fun behavior of these animals. Thirdly, ferrets will not survive in the wild even if it accidentally bumps in to another loose ferret and they decided to form a partnership. Other places where ferrets are illegal are in Queensland in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, and Japan all for the exact reasons similar to those mentioned on the list.

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