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Pet Ferrets: Cute, Cuddly, Illegal

Owners ask why domesticated ferrets remain illegal
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2008 6:03 PM CST
Pet Ferrets: Cute, Cuddly, Illegal
One of 21 ferrets at the Virginia Beach SPCA peers through its cage at the facility in Virginia Beach, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008, after about 100 ferrets were removed by animal control agents from a residence in Virginia Beach. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, L. Todd Spencer)   (Associated Press)

Americans own about 2 million ferrets, and some are asking why they remain illegal in several states and cities. “Martin Luther King said an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” one ferret advocate said. “And this is an injustice.” Opponents say that owners are imprisoning wild animals, but defenders maintain that a common breed has been domesticated for centuries.

California ferret-owners hoped that Arnold Schwarzennegger, who co-starred with a ferret in Kindergarten Cop, would lift the ban, but the Governator vetoed amnesty in 2004. Rudy Giuliani, while New York mayor, called "this excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness." Likely neither will be at the nation's annual ferret show in Columbus, Ohio, in August, the Chicago Tribune reports. (More pets stories.)

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