NYC ban on keeping ferrets as pets stays, health board rules

Candace Lucas

NEW YORK (AP) — Ferrets won’t get a legal foothold in New York City.

The city Board of Health decided Tuesday to maintain a long-standing prohibition on keeping the animals as pets. The vote was 3-2 to lift the ban, but it needed six votes to pass. There were four abstentions.

Related to weasels, ferrets have gained popularity as pets in recent decades. Many states have lifted ferret bans over the past 25 years. California and Hawaii still have them, as does Washington, D.C.

The city has long defined ferrets as wild animals and generally prohibited them. The ban became specific in 1999.

Ferret fanciers say it reflects an unfair view of their playful companions.

But some New Yorkers feel ferrets don’t belong in the dense city.

Ferrets are legal in the rest of New York.

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