How The Ferret Ban Started
Form letter response from the DOH and Mayor Giuliani


If you write a letter or send an email to Mayor Giuliani or the Department of Health concerning the banning of ferrets, you will get the following form letter reply. Don't let it discourage you. Someone is receiving and logging your letters.

FYI: Dangerous wild animals may have been prohibited since 1959, but nowhere in the NYC Health Code had there ever been any mention of "ferrets" being illegal or prohibited until June 29th 1999. Since ferrets are domesticated animals, not wild, the previous health code clearly did not apply.



[ Today's Date ]

[ Your Name ]
[ Your Address ]
[ Your Address ]
[ Your Address ]


Dear [Your Name]:

Your letter dated [ Date Of Letter ] to [ Name of Either a Member of The Department of Health, or the Mayor ] regarding the ban on possession of ferrets in the City of New York, has been forwarded to this office for reply.

On June 29, 1999, for the reasons set forth in the Statement of Basis and Purpose accompanying the resolution to amend section 161.01 of the New York City Health Code, and after full consideration of all comments submitted to that date, the Board of Health unanimously voted to continue the ban against possession of ferrets and many other animals that present a risk of injury to persons who may come in contact with them.

You should know that ferrets have been prohibited in the City of New York pursuant to section 161.01 of the Health Code since 1959, and pursuant to section 22 of the Sanitary Code, the predecessor of the Health Code, since 1933. The action of the Board of Health was merely to expressly set forth a non-exclusive listing of the most common creatures that fall under this prohibition.

Thank you for your expression of interest in this matter.




Wilfredo Lopez



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