This organization was started in 2005 because we saw a lack of progress in the effort to legalize ferrets in California. Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a ferret amnesty bill in September 2004 saying an Environmental Impact Report was needed before he would consider legalizing domestic ferrets. All this despite that California was the only state (besides Hawaii) to prohibit ferret ownership, that there was no documentation that ferrets caused any environmental harm and had no effects on agriculture and minimal concerns for public health (yes, occasionally a ferret bites someone.)
We formed with an idea of doing a ballot initiative to legalize ferrets. The idea quickly hit reality when research conducted for us by Field Research in 2005 showed only 38% of the voters would support us. Obviously we don’t have the resources to turn around that kind of disadvantage.
Then it dawned on us – let’s do the Environmental Impact Report. It wasn’t easy to find a wildlife biologist who would take on the task, but managed to hire Dr Geo Graening at Sacramento State University. The cost was significantly less than we anticipated because so much of the standard EIR does not apply. No other species has ever required an EIR to be legalized; we had no way of knowing. But it turns out, ferret legalization isn’t rocket science!
During this journey our numbers have continued to grow. Our free, weekly email newsletter called CLIFFNotes (California Legalization Initiative For Ferrets) now goes out to nearly 6,000 people. Our presence on Facebook now has 1500 friends.
If you are interested in ferrets in California – consider joining us. Together we’ve been able to accomplish so much and we hope the day we can take our ferrets outside without fear is close at hand.
How can you help?
– See more at: http://legalizeferrets.org/2-legalize-ferrets/17-about-legalizeferrets-org.html#sthash.2nt8O8bR.dpuf