De Blasio administration considers loosening NYC ban on ferrets

ban ferrets new york city de blasio
The Health Department said on Wednesday that it is asking the city’s Board of Health to consider changing a regulation that bans ferrets as pets in the five boroughs.
Credit: Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post

After more than a decade of exile, ferrets might be making a comeback in New York City.

The Health Department said on Wednesday that it asked an appointed board responsible for changing health policies to consider repealing a regulation that bans the furry creatures as pets in the five boroughs.

The consideration was spurred by a petition from Brooklyn resident Ariel Jasper, who also set up a public petition on Change.org to legalize ferrets with some 363 signatures from around the country.

A spokesperson for the Health Department said that the residents will be able to weigh in on the ban and proposed change, although the specific date has not yet been determined.

“Evidence shows ferrets do not bite more frequently or severely than other pets the same size,” said a memo from the Health Department obtained by the New York Times, adding that “There is now an approved rabies vaccine.”

The Board of Health — which currently consists of members appointed by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg — would likely take a vote in September after the public comment period closes.

The same document, dated late April, suggests that final rules might be adopted in December with any changes to the law effective by January 2015.

Ferrets were banned in 1999 as pets in New York City — even though they are still legal elsewhere in the state — when then Mayor Rudy Giuliani aggressively spoke against ferrets as pets when confronted by a ferret advocate.

“There is something really, really, very sad about you,” Giuliani said during an exchange on WABC-AM at the time You need help. You need somebody to help you. I know you feel insulted by that, but I’m being honest with you. This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness.”

Giuliani’s distaste for ferrets outlasted his own administration. When a legal appeal against the law extended into the Bloomberg’s first term in 2002, the city stood by the law and won the case.

The activist who was a the receiving end of the former mayor’s lambast said on Wednesday that he opposed the proposed repeal and argued that it it gave officials too much power with licenses and potential fees.

“It becomes more Gestapo techniques,” he said.

Additional reporting by Reuters.

Other animals banned by New York City

Source: NYC Rules

• Wolves, foxes, dingos and other undomesticated dogs
• Lions, tigers, ocelots and other undomesticated cats
• Venomous spiders and insects, including tarantulas, black widows and scorpions
• Various reptiles, including iguana, gila monsters, vipers, cobras and anacondas
• Monkeys, apes, chimps, gorillas, lemurs and other primates
• Nutria, beavers, porcupines and other large rodents
• Kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, koala bears and other marsupials
• Eagles, hawks, emus, ostriches and other large or predatory birds
• Dolphins, whales, seals and other sea mammals
• Sharks, piranhas and other predatory sea animals
• Bears
• Elephants
• Hippos
• Rhinoceros
• Sloths
• Pandas
• Pot-bellied pigs
• Sheep
• Goats
• Giraffes
• Armadillos
• Squirrels

Follow Chester Jesus Soria on Twitter @chestersoria



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.