Past Legalization Efforts
Council Member Kathyrn Freed's Bill to Legalize Ferrets
NYC Council Health Committee Votes YES! 4/19/01


New York City Council Health Committee
Votes YES!

April 19th, 2001


The City Council Health Committee voted in favor of "Intro 627-A" today, -the bill to legalize ferrets in NYC. Now the bill will be moved to the FULL City Council for what will hopefully be the final vote to overturn the ferret ban in NYC.

Today's vote was a little "touch and go". Five Council Members voted for the bill, one voted against, and two abstained. The Council Member who placed the fifth and deciding vote today was stuck on a subway and almost didn't make it in time. We're very thankful that he did!



It's important for each individual member of the City Council to know that we are aware of his or her role with regards to overturning or continuing the current ferret ban.


    The following Council Members voted in FAVOR of our bill to LEGALIZE ferrets in NYC. Everybody please take a moment to write these five people a "Thank You" letter expressing your gratitude and appreciation for their support. If any of these five people had not voted in favor of our bill today, it might not have passed this stage. Write to them regardless of whether or not they are your Council Member. If one of these people is your local Council Member as well, make sure you mention in your letter that you are a member of their district.

    Victor L. Robles
    815 Broadway (Rm 515)
    Brooklyn NY 11206
    (718) 963-3141
    (212) 788-6856
    Pedro G. Espada
    558 Melrose Avenue
    Bronx NY 10455
    (718) 402-7602
    (212) 788-6956
    Philip Reed
    105 East 116th Street
    New York NY 10029
    (212) 828-9800
    (212) 788-6960
    Christine Quinn
    265 West 40th Street
    (Suite 803)
    New York NY 10018
    (212) 768-4344

    Eva S. Moskowitz
    370 Lexington Avenue
    (Suite 2001A)
    New York NY 10017
    (212) 818-0580
    (212) 788-7393

    *Ms. Moskowitz is new to the Health Committee


    The following two Council Members abstained. Both Council Members admitted publicly that they had not had, or had not taken, sufficient time to review all the information regarding the legalization of ferrets, and, as such, they did not feel comfortable making a decision for or against the bill at this time.

    Why should you thank them? Thank them for choosing to abstain when they realized that they did not know enough about the issue to make an informed decision. They could have just as easily voted "no". As a matter of fact, one of the following Council Members stated that because he didn't know enough about ferrets, his inclination was to defer to the "wisdom" of the DOH (The people who created this ban!). But instead of "jumping on the DOH bandwagon" because he didn't know enough about the issue he was voting on, he chose to abstain. -That's a good thing!

    Thank them for recognizing that they didn't know enough about the issues to make an informed vote. Offer to meet with them (especially if you live in their district!!) and/or send them whatever materials they need to provide them with answers to any questions and address any doubts they may have regarding the legalization of ferrets -but make sure you have your facts straight! If you don't know the answer to a question, don't make it up! Tell them you don't know the answer but that you will find out and get back to them. Then write down what the question was and tell us. We will do our best to get back to you with that information as quickly as possible.

    Sheldon S. Leffler
    205-07 Hillside Avenue,
    Hollis NY 11423
    (718) 465-8202
    (212) 788-6850

    *Mr. Leffler is new to the Health Committee

    James S. Oddo
    94 Lincoln Avenue
    Staten Island NY 10306
    (718) 980-1017
    (212) 788-7390


    Council Member Una Clarke is 100% against our bill. The reasons she gave were that she didn't know enough about ferrets but that (unlike the Council Members who abstained) she believed the DOH were the experts in this situation and she was going to back them 100%. She stated that the current Commissioner of Health and the two prior Commissioners all stated that ferrets were not domesticated animals, and that's all the information she felt she needed.

    DO NOT send Ms. Clarke attacking or harassing letters! We Know that ferrets are in fact domesticated and have been domesticated for thousands of years. We know that they are legal in other countries and in 48 states including the rest of New York State, and that the ASPCA, the Humane Society and the New York City Veterinary Medical Association (NYCVMA) all support the LEGALIZATION of ferrets in NYC. Ms. Clarke needs to be persuaded that these are in fact the true experts and authorities on ferrets and not the Commissioners of Health -who's "expertise" is..."Health!" -Not animals, and certainly not ferrets!

    We need to persuade Ms. Clarke to support our bill at the next vote. Do not make her our enemy. Be aware that Ms. Clarke did not want to speak to any of us before or after the vote and that her official statement only moments before the vote was "I haven't made up my mind yet." -Don't settle for "I haven't made up my mind" as an answer! That's her way of avoiding the discussion. She's going to be tough, so "keep your cool", be respectful, and do your best.

    If Ms. Clarke is YOUR local Council Member, you absolutely MUST contact her and speak with her in person. It is her job to represent the people in her district. If enough people from her district tell her that they want her to support this bill, that might be all she needs to change her position by the next vote.

    Una Clarke
    123 Linden Boulevard
    Brooklyn NY 11203
    (718) 287-8762
    (212) 788-7352


INTRO "627-A"

You may have noticed that we referred to the bill today as "627-A" instead of just "627." There were a few changes made to the bill. The changes appear minor and primarily typographical (i.e. renaming or re-numbering certain sections) and did not appear to be significant changes to the bill. Even so, this new revised version of our bill will now be referred to as "Intro 627-A".



The next step is for this bill to go before the Full City Council for what will hopefully be the Final vote. We'll get back to you shortly with more information concerning that upcoming vote.



Praising the Health Committee for saying "Yes" to ferrets.



<--More about Kathryn Freed's Bill to Legalize Ferrets