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
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Television

9 things we learned about 'Hannibal' Season 3…

There’s plenty of fall television to be excited about, but the crowd inside the Paley Center for Media on Saturday night only wanted one thing:…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…