Past Legalization Efforts

Kathryn Freed's bill to legalize ferrets (Intro 627-A)

On June 25th, 1999, Council Member Kathryn Freed, a long time animal advocate on the City Council, introduced a bill (a bill is law in progress) to legalize ferrets in New York City. The City Council passed the bill but then Mayor Giuliani vetoed it (turned it down). The City Council had the option to try to overturn the Mayor's veto, but that didn't happen for several reasons. The end result is that we were about 4 votes short of being able to overturn the Mayor's veto. You can read about past information on this bill and what happened, in our section on:

Council Member Kathryn Freed's Ferret Regulation Bill: Intro 627-A.


Lawsuit against the Department of Health (DOH)

On October 28th, 1999, ferret owners and the New York Humane Society filed a lawsuit against Mayor Giuliani and the NYC Department of Health (DOH) stating that the Department of Health did not have the authority to ban ferrets in the City of New York. Unfortunately, the judges stated that the courts have very little authority to overturn any decision made by the DOH. Legally, they cannot interfere with most of what they do. Consequently, the lawsuit against Mayor Giuliani and the Department of Health was dismissed.

You can read more about it in our Lawsuit section.