Past Legalization Efforts
Council Member Kathyrn Freed's Bill to Legalize Ferrets
Intro 627-A The Ferret Regulation Bill




The City of New York

Int. No. 627-A

September 9, 1999

Introduced by Council Members Freed, Miller, Linares, Quinn, Fiala, and Stabile; also Council Members, Eldridge and Sabini — read and referred to the Committee Health.
Amended April 19, 2001. Ordered reprinted and laid over.



To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to regulating the possession, use and sale of domestic ferrets.


Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

Section 1. Title 17 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding thereto a new chapter 8 to read as follows:

Chapter 8



§ 17-801 Short title
§ 17-802 Definitions
§ 17-803 Prohibitions
§ 17-804 Violations
§ 17-805 Construction
§ 17-806 Rules


§ 17-801 Short title This subchapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Ferret Regulation Law."


§ 17-802 Definitions. Whenever used in this subchapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings.

(a) "Person" means an individual, corporation association or other legal entity.

( b) "Ferret" means the domestic ferret, ferret-fitch, or fitch.

(c) "Inoculated against canine distemper and and rabies" means that the subject ferret shall have received at minimum the first inoculation in the inoculation series for those diseases, provided that the subject ferret shall subsequently receive the remainder of the inoculation series, if any, and shall periodically receive booster shots or re-inoculations, when required and provided further that the burden of proof shall rest upon the owner thereof to demonstrate that such requirements for periodic shots or inoculations have been complied with. The earliest date at which said periodic shots or inoculations may begin shall be determined by the schedule set forth on the manufacturer's label or instructions for the particular vaccine being used, or equivalent standards set by a competent veterinary authority.


§ 17-803 Prohibitions.

a. No person shall own or harbor a ferret unless such ferret has been spayed or neutered and inoculated against canine distemper and rabies.

b. No person shall offer for sale, sell or give a ferret as a gift unless such ferret has been spayed or neutered and inoculated against canine distemper and rabies.

c. No person shall liberate or allow the escape of any ferret in their possession.

d. No person shall cause or permit the hunting of any animal with a ferret.


§ 17-804 Violations. Any violation of this chapter or any of the rules promulgated hereunder shall upon conviction thereof be punishable by a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars. Civil violations under this section shall be adjudicated before the department's administrative tribunal.


§ 17-805 Construction. The provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to apply to:

a. A zoological park operated by the department of parks and recreation, by the Wildlife Conservation Society, or by the Staten Island Zoological Society;

b. A laboratory or institutions operated pursuant to section 504 of the public health law;

c. A circus or native wildlife rehabilitator licensed by federal or state agencies;

d. A place which has received the approval of the department of health to exhibit or use such animals and which has protective devices which are adequate to prevent such animals from escaping or injuring the public, provided however, that the department may impose reasonable conditions and time limits on the granting of such approval; or

e. Ferrets brought into the city of New York for a period not exceeding thirty days.


§ 17-806 Rules. The commissioner of the department of health shall promulgate rules in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, and such other rules as may be necessary for the purpose of implementing and carrying out the provisions of this chapter.


§ 2. This local law shall take effect immediately.


Note: Matter in italics is new; matter in brackets [ ] to be omitted.


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