Californians for Ferret Legalization




California Update Archive


Messages that once appeared in the CA Update are archived here for your information.

The opportunities expressed below (i.e. sending in faxes, letters, and photos) may be expired. The messages below are here so that you may see California's struggle over the last couple of years. The links should still work.


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California Update Message Archive


Governor's Veto Message, Sadly He's Bought DFG's Argument

9/29/2004

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To the Members of the California State Senate:

I am returning Senate Bill 89 without my signature.

I love ferrets. I costarred with a ferret in Kindergarten Cop. However, this bill is far too bureaucratic and it legalizes ferrets prior to conducting an environmental impact report (EIR).

I am concerned that there has not been proper study to determine whether ferrets are detrimental to the health and safety of California citizens and the environment.

The EIR should be completed and evaluated as part of the decision making process before changing the legal status of ferret possession.

For these reasons I am returning this measure without my signature.

Sincerely,

Arnold Schwarzenegger

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I just received a phone call from our author's office letting me know that Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed our ferret bill, SB 89.

Needless to say, I am extremely disappointed. This does not solve a thing. Several hundred thousand ferrets and their owners are not going to pack up and leave California. And I'm certain that more will come in regardless of the law.

The only thing I can think of that would explain his veto is that a better bill would be a straightforward legalization bill much like our original bill in 1994. I'll know more when I see his veto message.

I'm sorry, I know so many of you worked so hard on this as did I.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Californians SB 89 Needs Your Attention!

9/27/2004

Governor Schwarzenegger has just three more days (after today) to sign SB 89. He needs to hear from you, your friends and family, co-workers, everyone you know in California immediately so this bill becomes law. Please spread the word.

There really isn't time to send your support via the mail, so please fax (which many say is preferred to e-mail), phone and/or e-mail the Governor today! Forward or print this e-mail and give it to everyone you know in California and ask them to contact the governor now!

If you haven't taken the time to write, now is that time! Ask yourself, how will you feel if this bill is vetoed? Horrible I'm certain! But how will you feel if this bill is vetoed and you didn't support our effort to make the bill become law? Could you have made a difference? Your participation is key to the success this bill!

FAX COPIES OF YOUR POLITE AND POSITIVE SUPPORT LETTERS TO:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633

To send an Electronic Mail please visit:

http://www.govmail.ca.gov/

include your full name and address

Points to highlight are:

1) Ferrets are legal in 48 states and in the entire North American continent, Europe, Japan and South America.

2) Ferrets are domesticated and do not belong in a list of prohibited wild animals.

3) Ferrets are safer to people and the environment than most other domesticated pets, especially dogs and cats.

4) Its time to decriminalize good Californians for doing something others can do in the rest of the country legally.

Sample letter (best faxed):

Honorable Governor Schwarzenegger,

Please sign SB 89 and give amnesty to the estimated 200,000 or more ferrets and their owners in California. This bill addresses an issue of long standing in California, one which penalizes good citizens for doing something that can be done legally in the rest of the 48 states on the continent.

Sincerely,

Your name and address

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Celebrity Justice, Paris Hilton and Former Gov of MA

9/20/2004

No news on the ferret front. I think it's really important to keep the letters, postcards, e-mails and phone calls coming in to the Governor's Office. Remember, he has until Sept. 30th to sign, veto or let the bill go into law without his signature.

Great news from the east! Those of us who have been invoved in this long term (and I mean since 1995 or before), know that then Governor William Weld of Massachusetts signed that state's ferret legalization bill in 1995 (which went into effect in 1996.

He was photographed at the bill signing holding up a copy of my 1996 Ferret Calendar so I made a print of that great shot and had him sign in when he was in California for a fundraiser (he was running against Senator Kerry for that Senate seat). In any case, our lobbyist Bob Naylor, met up with Mr. Weld at the RNC in New York and asked him to write to our Governor in support of our bill (thank you so much Bob Naylor). And he did! Below is a short article from the LA Times:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ferret Owners Put More Pressure on Governor

California ferret owners are calling in the big guns to pressure Schwarzenegger into signing a bill granting amnesty to the rodent-like animals.

Pet ferrets, which state biologists consider a threat to ground-nesting birds, are banned in only two states: California and Hawaii.

After more than a decade of lobbying, ferret fanciers finally persuaded the Legislature this year to liberate their pets, a population estimated at somewhere between 160,000 and 500,000.

Sales and imports still would still be banned, but under SB 89 ferret owners would pay $75 to register their pets, provided that the animals were spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies.

To boost their cause, ferret lovers have sent Schwarzenegger a letter from former Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld, who in 1995 faced a ferret legalization bill. Weld writes that, "I was confronted with the same momentous decision you face on where to draw the line between individual freedom and excessive state paternalism with respect to, yes, ownership of ferrets."Weld's conclusion? "I chose freedom." Do the same, he advised Schwarzenegger, and "hundreds of thousands of ferret owners will rejoice." ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Also, many of you noticed that Paris Hilton was featured in People Magazine with her two ferrets and on Jay Leno. Today Celebrity Justice called to ask about the status of the ferret bill and will do a short segment on it and Paris at the rather late hour of 1:00 AM tonight (or tomorrow morning) on channel 9. If you have the ability to tape the segment, or are a late night owl, please let me know how it goes. Ms Hilton did say she thought the law should be changed.

[UPDATE: Click here Celebrity Justice Article to visit the Celebrity Justice website to read the article.

Or click here Celebrity Justice Video to jump directly to the QuickTime video. Give it some time to download.]

Please continue to distribute our wanted posters to pet stores and veterinary offices! You can download and print our poster directly from the website. It prints great in color if you have a color printer. We have only 10 days left to effect the chances of passage of our bill so it's important to continue to ask everyone you know to write to our Governor! His address is:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

All you have to do is to ask him to sign SB 89 and let him know that ferrets are domesticated companion animals that do NOT belong in a list of prohibited wildilfe.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Two Documents Sent with Letter to Governor

9/2/2004

I'm hoping these will appear on our web site when our dedicated webmaster has a chance but in case any of you can use the information, I wrote them early last year to support SB 89 in the Legislature and updated them based on current information including Fish and Game's new argument against SB 89 which will really surprise you. In any case, there is information in here that you might want to know about the effort and the arguments now being made. Good fodder for letters, interviews, etc.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Important Information

8/31/2004

Thanks to many, many wonderful volunteers and the stamp and other donations we've received, we've been able to send out almost 4,500 postcards to ferret supporters letting them know the bill is on the Governor's desk! We were also able to address and stamp another 2,000 or so postcards for the public to mail in via other volunteers so the effort to let Governor Schwarzenegger know this bill needs to be signed is well underway.

But the Department of Fish and Game will be recommending to the Governor's staff that the bill be vetoed I'm certain so we must counter that recommendation with lots of input from the ferret supporters and the general public.

So, for those of you who have called but not gotten through, Roger e-mailed me with a list of local numbers for the Governor. He said he got a live person and was told they were getting some calls but not that many locally. Hey, if you haven't called, here's your chance. You can also pass along the local phone number to your family and friends.

Fresno Office
2550 Mariposa Mall #3013
Fresno, CA 93721
Phone: 559-445-5295
Fax: 559-445-5328

Los Angeles Office
300 South Spring Street
Suite 16701
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone: 213-897-0322
Fax: 213-897-0319

Riverside Office
3737 Main Street #201
Riverside, CA 92501
Phone: 909-680-6860
Fax: 909-680-6863

San Diego Office
1350 Front Street
Suite 6054
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-525-4641
Fax: 619-525-4640

San Francisco Office
455 Golden Gate Avenue
Suite 14000
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-703-2218
Fax: 415-703-2803

Some of you are writing letters to the editors of your local papers. Good for you! One of our members has already had his letter accepted by the Sacramento Bee, congratulations Tim! That is an excellent way to garner support for our bill. At the end of this e-mail you will see a copy of Californians for Ferret Legalization's letter to the Governor and feel free to use the information in the letter if it helps you. But follow the guidlines of writing a letter to the editor (there's a strict word limit that varies from paper to paper).

Also, Lynne e-mailed me to say that SB 89 is now on the list of subjects on the Governor's web site. If you click on this link (or cut and paste into your browser) http://www.govmail.ca.gov/ you will go to the Governor's web mail site. You can then choose your subject in the drop down menu. SB 89 is near the bottom under Wild Animals: Domestic ferrets SB 89 (anyone see the logic in that?). Choose a support position above the subject line and be sure to include your e-mail address. I e-mailed earlier on this but forgot to include my address and received a message that my address was needed so I incuded it this time. I suggest you include your address to be sure your letter/e-mail counts.

Here is the letter I wrote to the Governor on behalf of Californians for Ferret Legalization. It is on our letterhead so has my address.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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SB 89 Passed the Formality of Concurrence in Senate

8/26/2004

Just a quick note to let you know that SB 89 went back to the Senate and passed again on concurrence 27 or 26 to 2. This was a formality to ensure that the Assembly version agreed with the Senate. No changes of substance were made in the Assembly. Our bill is now on to the Governor so please print your posters, distribute them to pet stores and veterinarians offices, anywhere you are allowed.

Make sure that the Governor hears from as many people as possible. We must pass this bill!

Thanks for all your help.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Criticism

8/26/2004

As usual, when you donate huge amounts of time and $$ to an issue you are bound to be criticized by someone on the periphery, a self-declared expert, so I'm passing along this info for whatever it may be worth.

The e-mailer of course missed entirely the fact that my last e-mail urged everyone to participate by writing and faxing immediately and not "essentially to do nothing and wait to fail".

He also fails to note that these suggestions were on the recommendation of a Senate insider, not necessarily my own. In any case, he's clearly got some inside information so I pass along his recommendation (and criticisms).

And of course with folks like this, the scapegoat syndrome is pretty clear since according to thim I have "singlehandedly made it more likely that this bill will not be passed."

Wow, time for me to definitely bow out!

:)

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

-----Original Message-----
From: STEALTHCEL@aol.com [STEALTHCEL@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 6:58 PM
To: Ferretnews@aol.com
Subject: SB89

Jeanne Carley:

I just received the ridiculous e-mail that you sent out "A Senate Insider's View/Write or Fax Don't Call or E-Mail!". Obviously, you use e-mail all of the time to keep in touch with everyone you know and it seems to be effective.

The web site of the Governor is clearly a database type site, meaning that it is easy to view the results. Your suggestion that clogging their FAX machines or forcing some overworked secretary to open a bunch of letters that will not be read and likely will be placed in the round recycling can (i.e. trashcan) rather than be forwarded anywhere is ill-informed. The telephone line is also databased so that the results can be easily tallied but the downside is that it is a long distance call and the line is often busy causing people to give up before completing the call.

You have now sent out an e-mail to everyone you know telling them essentially to do nothing and wait to fail. Your leadership skills obviously never existed or need some retraining. It is important that everybody e-mail the Governor immediately so that the people's view on this issue can be tabulated quickly and put on his desk. That is the beauty of a database program - one click of a mouse and you have statistics. I don't know if you are a techophobe or what, but you have singlehandedly made it more likely that this bill will not be passed.

I suggest that you immediately send out another e-mail telling your base to take the opportunity to express their opinion by e-mail on the Governor's site before it is too late because of all of the Governor's we have ever had, this one is the most self-serving and pays the most attention to the statistics of the voting public. It will take only a few minutes and make a world of difference. Very truly yours,

Christian Christmas
Marketing Consultant
Stealth Cellular

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SB 89 Poster, Please Print and Distribute

8/25/2004

Click here for a small color poster for SB 89. The poster will take approximately one and a half minutes to download (56k modem). It's in Adobe Acrobat which you can download for free at .

Please print several copies of this poster and put it in your veterinarian's office as well as every pet store you can think of with their permission. You can also post several at your office (with management approval of course).

The most important thing it to generate lots of mail and faxes to the Governor!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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A Senate Insider's View/Write or Fax Don't Call or E-Mail!

8/25/2004

The message below came to one of our supporters from someone working in the California State Senate. You need to read this and realize that we face a very uphill battle still! And, I do agree that writing is by far the best so please make sure that you take a moment to write to the Governor at this address:

Honorable Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

You may also fax your letters to the Governor (this is the quickest way to reach him) at (916) 445-4633.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Emailing the governor is meaningless. Consider it a deadfile. The phone is nearly as bad. You'll be allowed to vote yes or no on a particular bill through a voice mail system, and I would be surprised if staff takes that at all seriously. Might not even go anywhere. Previous governors have used it as a way to keep call levels to a minimum. You'll never get a real person on the phone using the phone numbers that the governor's office puts on the website.

A far more effective method is using the fax machine or snail mail. The fax number they give the public is treated nearly the same as email and voicemail, but they will notice huge stacks of faxes and letters. Staff won't READ them, but are probably compiled by a secretary who makes note of the numbers and gives it to legislative staff if it goes over a certain number.

The absolute best way to influence legislation is to work with the groups in support listed at the bottom of the link I provided above. I can guarantee you that staff will read faxes from organizations. Some more closely than others. Of the groups listed in the above link, the California Veterinary Medical Association and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council will get the most attention. Unfortunately, you can't join these two groups and they don't want your money. Try calling and helping out those other groups listed in support. Fund for Animals is a fiery bunch, and moderately respected.

As for the governor's plan on whether to sign or veto this bill (since it will most likely get out of the Senate tomorrow or Friday), it doesn't look good. Looking at the link above, you'll notice that the California Department of Fish and Game is opposed to the bill. They work for the governor, and will write the first thing the governor reads. And truthfully, might be the last thing he reads on his way to vetoing the bill. This is a hot issue, and there's still a very good possibility that Arnold will sign the bill against his own staff's recommendations, but don't get your hopes up."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Also, it was pointed out to me that in my haste, there were some small grammatical errors in my sample letters to the Governor. Please use these if you haven't already written:

Letter #1

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

Please sign SB 89 which decriminalizes current ferret owners. These good citizens own a domesticated pet that is legal in the rest of the continent, should not be in the jurisdiction of a wildlife agency, and is safer to people and the environment than a dog or cat. The current ban is unfair and a waste of taxes and governmental goodwill.

Signed,

Your name and city

Or Letter #2:

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

Please support SB 89 the domestic ferret bill. It makes no sense to make ferret owners in California criminals when ferrets are legal in every other state on the continent.

Sincerely,

Your name and city

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

One of our supporters might be making a terrific poster that you will be able to download and print as a PDF file for pet stores, veterinarians offices etc. on SB 89 and how to contact the Governor. More on that later as soon as it's up on our site.

Finally, please write a thank you note to the author of our bill, Senator Dede Alpert. Whether or not this bill passes into law, Senator Alpert did her job and got it through the Senate and the Assembly. And she did a great job. She was well versed on the subject, the facts and the fictions. It was clear she was committed to seeing this bill pass and we owe her a tremendous debt of gratitude. And she's termed out at the end of this year so it's not as if she did this for any reason other than to try to help ferret owners in California.

To write to Senator Alpert, address your letters to:

The Honorable Senator Dede Alpert
State Capitol Room 5050
Sacramento, CA 95814

Thanks for your commitment to this issue as well.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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VICTORY! SB 89 GOES TO GOVERNOR (but we don't know what he'll do)!

8/24/2004

I have the great pleasure to inform you that SB 89 just passed the California State Assembly today and will now go before Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger!

At this time, the vote was 47 in favor, 12 or 13 against (with approximately 20 votes outstanding). I'll know the final vote sometime tomorrow or the next day and will pass it along. Hopefully the ayes will grow but the nayes are a sign of heavy lobbying by CA Waterfowl and Fish and Game.

This is an historic day no question about that. It's taken eleven years of hard, hard work for a ferret bill to go this far. I have to tell you though, that the Department of Fish and Game is vehemently against this bill, whining that "regulating pets is not their job". That's one of the arguments I made to them eleven long years ago. How dare they now claim ferrets are not their job, of course they're not, they never have been!

In any case, I can tell you from our sources in the Capitol that the Department and CA Waterfowl are lobbying the Governor's office very, very hard and we need for each and every one of you to multiply your efforts five fold to ensure that this bill goes into law and is NOT vetoed! Don't make the mistake that just because the Governor was in a movie with ferrets that he is not feeling pressure to veto this bill. If you make that assumption and do nothing to convince him to sign SB 89, it will be a very costly mistake!

Many of you have already called the Governor's office so what I'm asking you to do is to reach out to your friends and co-workers, extended and distant family members, hey, even ex's if you're on good terms, and have them call and write as well!

The Governor's number is: 916 445-2841

To respond to legislation, press #2, then listen for SB 89, press #1, then to support SB 89 press #1.

You should also take the time to help friends and family write to the Governor. Make it easy for them, address the letters and give them a sample. Here's the Governor's address:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Make your letters short. For example:

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

Please sign SB 89 which decriminalizes current ferret owners. These good citizens own a domesticated pet that legal in the rest of the continent, is not in the jurisdiction of a wildlife agency, and is safer to people and the environment than a dog or cat. The current ban is unfair and a waste of taxes and governmental goodwill.

Signed,

Your name and city

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

To those of you who have lists of people in California that we may not be reaching, Ferrets Anonymous, Golden State Ferret Society, Capitol City Ferret Club, Ferret Ware, Hyper Fur, etc. please, get this information out to all of your contacts, ASAP. Consider a small first class mailing so recipients have time to respond.

Come on folks, now is not the time to celebrate, it's time to work hard so all of us can celebrate when the bill is law!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Postcard Mailing

8/19/2004

One of our supporters had a great idea. Instead of sending you a postcard, can you give me the EXACT mailing address of your veterinarian so I can send one there instead?

Some close friends are picking up labels in the next couple of days so let me know ASAP if I should mail to a ferret vet instead.

If it's OK with you overall and I know you personally I'd like to save the postcard and the stamp and not send you a postcard so I can drop these off at local vets offices. I didn't really print too many extras so it will help get the word out if I don't need to send those of you a postcard who already know to write and call the Governor.

If you want me to mail to a veterinarian I will also need your name and address so I can remove it. Or, if you don't know your vet but just want us to save the postage and postcard, let me know your name and address and hopefully I can remove the labels in time.

At present we have about half the stamps we need but I know more are coming. Any extras (if we have them) I will send out to folks willing to get friends and family to write to the Governor.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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THANK YOU LISA!!!!

8/18/2004

Lisa L. just dropped off two boxes of labels so I'm printing about 4,500 mailing labels as I type this tonight-- hoping my toner cartridge holds out and the printer doesn't jam. Tomorrow I will pick up the postcards. Thank you to the many supporters, both inside California and outside, who have generously sent stamps, $$ for stamps and/or pledged your time to the mailing on the 28th.

OUTSIDE CALIFORNIA YOU ASK? Rick and Candi White of San Antonio Texas Ferret Enthusiasts sent three rolls of stamps and Barbara Mowery of Arizona also sent a roll-- these kind folks don't even live here! That is especially generous and thoughtful.

We expect our bill to be heard in the Assembly possibly as early as next week. If you haven't already contacted your Assemblymember, there is still time if you call!

Those of you who have ordered postcardbooks, they've all gone out in the mail, via priority mail so you should get them in plenty of time to get friends and family to write a note to the Governor.

Everyone, please make it a goal of yours to get at least 20 friends or family (if you have a big one) to send a note to the Governor asking him to sign our bill, SB 89.

Thanks and let's hold a good thought for our bill in the next few weeks!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Letter Writing Tips for Governor Please Read!

8/17/2004

Sue, one of our more eloquent supporters, offered to take some of the burden from me at this really hectic time and write up some tips on letter writing. I think she did a GREAT job so I'm passing this along to you virtually unedited-- except for one other hint. Keep your letters SHORT! One paragraph is fine. If your letter is short it will be read, if it is long it will not!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We need to make sure the Governor knows there is quite a bit of support for this bill. When writing the governor, please send your letters and post cards to:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Helpful tips when writing the Governor and GETTING OTHERS to write in:

Keep in mind our goal is to pass SB 89, a bill to legalize ferrets already here in the state of California. We want to encourage Governor Schwarzenegger to sign the bill or at least not veto it! We really need to pass this bill so that every ferret living in CA is protected.

1) Remain polite in your writing, more reward and respect are gained with honey than with vinegar. Passionate and heartfelt messages are fine and effectual. List your reasons for supporting bill SB 89. Write a letter, or list facts, or jot down a quick postive opinion, it's not the length of the letter that matters, it's your speaking out that will show support. Try to remain factual and stick to the issues at hand.

2) When finding others to write in, provide them with envelopes already addressed to the governor. Include stamps if you can. Give them a list of writing tips included here.

3) To personalize your letter, include a photo of your adorable ferret, or print/paste a photo onto your stationery; include a child's drawing of their beloved pet. Include your positive experience with ferrets. Relay your experience with any heartrending ferret confiscation stories.

4) If you're a ferret owner concerned with including your name and address, please don�t let this sway you from writing the Governor. You can write your first name only and the city or county you live in. If you're not a ferret owner, write about your positive experience or opinion about protecting existing ferrets in California with this bill.

5) You might include poignant commentary when signing your name. Or ironic humor showing your concerns: "Name withheld for fear of witch hunt! Name withheld for fear of persecution! Name withheld for fear of family pet abduction!" "Dorothy, grandmother of 6, caught between teaching respect for the law, and breaking the law to harbor family pet fugitives!" "Please pass this bill! - Mary, non-ferret owner, neighbor of happy-but-paranoid ferret family!" Think clever, witty, eye-catching, thought-provoking, memorable, touching or affecting. And remember, while expressing frustration over personal experiences and opinions can be fine, refrain from insults! We want to gain support, not turn government away from our cause!

Remind yourself and friends that our efforts can and WILL make a difference! Change comes by getting involved, your efforts and energy will greatly help get this bill passed. Let your non-ferret-owner friends and fellow animal lover s know how important this is to protect our beloved pets and we need their support. Encourage others to write in and call. The clock is ticking! This is our best chance and we don't want to lose it!

To call and register your support by phone - call 916 445-2841. To respond to legislation, press #2, then listen for SB 89, press #1, then to support SB 89 press #1.

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Better than Pay Pal, for just $1.00 shipping you can send us stamps!

8/16/2004

http://shop.usps.com

$1.00 shipping and handling (they are the post office after all) and the stamps arrive in 3-5 days.

Easiest to use is the roll of 100 and we need 4,500 stamps!

Thanks for your help. Postcards are being printed and will be ready by end of this week, labels should be printed next week and we stamp and mail Saturday August 28th!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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37 cent stamps Needed/Special Offer on Postcards

8/16/2004

Just a clarification that we need .37 cent stamps, not postcard stamps. These postcards are larger than is allowed for .20 cents.

Also, some folks have suggested that it would be nice if the Governor were to receive some ferret postcards so he could see how adorable ferrets are. Since The Ferret Company is donating over 200 postcard books (as well as almost 100 calendars for the legislature) letting Calfornians know they must write the Governor, additional donations are just not possible. However, The Ferret Company will give a discount on the postcard books for Californians only from now until the bill is acted upon by the Governor (sometime in September). Each postcardbook has 21 tear out postcards. How perfect for each Californian to use one and get 20 friends, family and co-workers to write to the Governor.

So, from now until the bill is acted upon in September, Californians may purchase up to two postcardbooks for just $4.95 each plus shipping. (Maximum 2 per household please). Use Key Code SB 89 when ordering. Must have California ship to address and please, use these for the Governor!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Postcard Mailing for Governor, Please help! Appropriations Vote, Landslide

8/13/2004

I decided to donate 218 Ferret Postcard books for a mailing to the Governor. That represents just under $2,000 of my product! So I need your help with the postage (printing on the back will come to $304.41, a real deal since the postcards themselves are being donated)! But here's where I desperately need your help-- STAMPS! These postcards must be mailed first class and we need 4,446 first class stamps so we can get these postcards mailed out! Can you please send a roll or two of first class stamps to my address below? Also, if anyone would like to donate lables, we need the 1"x2&5/8" mailing lables and will need them 30 per sheet. I generally buy the Avery labels, product number 8460. I think they cost about $30.00 for 3,000 of them.

I'm looking at having volunteers come by my house on the morning of August 28th around 9:00 if possible. That should give me time to get the postcards printed and get stamps donated and labels printed. If you plan on donating lables, please let me know!

Send your donations to:

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road
Woodside, CA 94062

Final vote in Assembly Appropriations was 18 aye, 1 no, 2 abstaining or not voting.

Here's the breakdown:

AYES

Chu
Runner
Bates
Berg
Laird
Corbett
Correa
Daucher
Goldberg
Keene
Leno
Nation
Negrete
McLeod
Pavley
Ridley-Thomas
Wesson
Wiggins
Yee

NOES

Haynes

ABSENT, ABSTAINING, OR NOT VOTING

Firebaugh
Levine

If you're Assembly representative was on this committee and supported our bill, please write and thank him/her.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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SB 89 Passes Assembly Appropriations Committee!

8/12/2004

Today, SB 89 passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. I do not know the vote yet but it must have received at least 12 of the 21 member committee to pass. SB 89 must now go back to the Senate for concurrence on some minor amendments (removing language that it would make a continuous appropriation and exempting exhibition and lab ferrets from the fee), then it must pass the Assembly on or before August 31st.

If the bill gets out of the Assembly in the last 11 days of session, the Governor then has 30 days to sign or veto the bill, or let it pass into law without his signature. Or he can address it right away which doesn't give him much time to consider the bill so your input is essential now!

So, first, please call or write your State Assemblymember if you haven't already done so and ask him/her to support SB 89. Remember, if this bill doesn't get out of the Assembly, it won't get to the Governor.

Second, please write to, AND call Governor Schwarzenegger. Here's the information on where to write:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

To call and register your support for our bill by phone call 916 445-2841. To respond to legislation, press #2, then listen for SB 89, press #1, then to support SB 89 press #1. Please have all of your friends and family call in, we need to make sure the Governor knows there is quite a bit of support for this bill.

If you have done both of these things, please ask co-workers, friends, family, to write as well. Consider taking an afternoon off to sit in front of a pet store with small 1/2 page flyers containing the Governor's address and tel. # for animal lovers to take home with them.

I'm donating two cases of 2005 Ferret Calendars to the effort in Sacramento as I have for the last several years. And if there is time for a mailing, I will also donate enough Ferret Company post cards to reach 5,000 Californians but I don't have $$ for postage so I will need your help with first class stamps and a volunteer label and stamp day(s).

Please e-mail me if you live in the Bay Area and can help on a weekend or evening with the mailing. If you live outside the Bay Area, please consider donating a roll of stamps but I need you to wait until I find out if we have time and volunteers enough for the mailing.

This is the furthest our bill has ever come, let's not drop the ball now, everyone needs to work very hard in the next few weeks to see that this happens!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Please Review My Ferret Calendar!

8/10/2004

Do you have a copy of our ferret calendar, The Ferret Calendar 2005, Ferret Music? If you do, and would like to write an on line review for Amazon.com, please click the link below and scroll down to Customer Reviews. It's always a great help for others who may be new to The Ferret Calendar to read your comments.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/097478690X/qid=1092001026/sr=1-1 /ref=sr_1_1/104-7437239-4731101?v=glance&s;=books#product-details

Front and Back cover images have been submitted to Amazon and should be up in the next 3-5 days. If you haven't seen the new 2005 images, go to http://www.ferretcompany.com/content/main01index.html and click on Ferret Music, 2005. Then scroll over the months for some hysterical ferret antics.

Thanks for reviewing my calendar for new Ferret Company fans.

By the way, our bill is still on Governor Schwarzenegger's phone poll but now it is the first bill under legislation, not the third. I strongly recommend calling in if you haven't already and having friends and family call!

The Governor's number is: 916 445-2841

Follow the prompts and select the one that asks for you opionon on legislation. I just called but I want you all to listen carefully in case it changes. To respond to legislation, press #2, then listen for SB 89, press #1, then to support SB 89 press #1.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Governor Asking for Public Opinion on Ferret Bill--Please Call In Support!

7/6/2004

I just heard that the Governor's office is asking the public's opinion on our ferret amnesty bill. I absolutely urge you all to call in your support for this bill as soon as possible. Follow the prompts and select the one that asks for you opionon on legislation. I just called but I want you all to listen carefully in case it changes. To respond to legislation, press #2, then listen for SB 89, press #3, then to support SB 89 press #1. Please have all of your friends and family call in. This is, I believe good news but we must answer this loud and clear!

The Governor's number is:

(916) 445-2841

Don't let this unique opportunity to be heard by the Governor's Office go by!

Some folks from out of state have asked if they should call, and I don't see what's wrong with that. If you plan to move or visit CA this will affect you too someday. But, we absolutely MUST have Californians call so if you live in CA get on the phone and please get your friends and family to call as well.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Hurdles Left for Our Bill

6/14/2004

Too many people don't realize how complicated the process is for a bill to become law in California. I was one of those until 10 years ago when our first bill was introduced. But now I know and you need to as well.

Our Legislature has two houses, the Senate and the Assembly. The bill has to clear both houses, then be signed by the Governor-- or at least not vetoed (I don't actually know if it can become a law without his signature, frankly we've never even come close to getting that far yet.)

In each house, the Assembly and the Senate, there are two committees that most bills must pass before it can be voted on by the entire house. So there are three votes per house, the first committee, the second committee then the house floor. Since our bill orinigated in the Senate, it began it's journey there and first had to pass the Senate Policy Committee, in our case the Senate Natural Resources Committee. SB 89 then went to the Senate Appropriations Committee which is the Committee that our author, Dede Alpert chairs. SB 89 passed that committee as well, then passed the Senate Floor vote. These votes took place last year.

Recently, our bill passed the first of two committees in the Assembly, the Policy Committee called Water, Parks and Wildlife. It will soon go before the Assembly Appropriations Committee but we don't know when. If the bill passes that Committee, it will go to the Assembly Floor for a vote. Should the bill pass the floor, it would go to the Governor. So as you can see, there are still three more steps for our bill to take before passage. We are a little over half way only, way too early to celebrate as I've heard some folks doing.

I have to tell you that we have several major considerations this year and should not take these early victories for granted. One thing to remember is that our fabulous author is term limited at the end of this year! Senator Alpert has been a fantastic author and she would be a very tough act to follow. Number two, most of the Assembly is new and knows nothing about our bill, or ferrets, or the level of support that is out there. That is where your letters to your Assemblymembers are so critical.

Besides writing to your own State Assemblymember, ask friends and family to write as well. Consider partnering with someone to sit outside a PetsMart or PetCo or other pet store and have pre-printed letters or signature forms for folks in your area to sign. We need to make sure that the Assembly representatives know there is widespread support to decriminalize ferret ownership in California!

Another important consideraton is that the opposition, Fish and Game, CA Waterfowl, Planning and Conservation League and Defenders of Wildlife have a permanent presence in Sacramento that we don't have, except in Bob Naylor, the lobbyist I spoke of earlier. That's why I urged all of you to help in any way you can so we can afford his services. My father and I have made multiple trips to Sacramento over the years, far more than I can count-- or want to. And I'm sure we will make another one before the Assembly floor vote, but that visit would be a waste of time without access to these lawmakers that Bob helps provide.

So please, send what you can so we can have our issue heard. Remember, don't make the checks out to Calfifornians for Ferret Legalization or Jeanne Carley but directly to Nielsen Merksamer!

Thanks for your support.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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SB 89 PASSED THE WATER, PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMITTEE!

6/8/2004

Today our bill passed the Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee by a 12-1 vote in favor, which means it has come the furthest it has ever come in 10 years. [Ed. note: With abundant respect, during those 10 years, Jeanne has testified at every hearing. Each time, she returns home exhausted and sometimes utterly disappointed. So after today's hearing, her long-term memory is slightly askew. The previous three bills (SB 1093 in 2001-2002, AB 854 in 1999-2000, and AB 363 in 1997-1998) had all passed both houses' policy committees. However, they did not get past the second houses' Appropriations committee. So it will be a first if, er... I mean, when we pass Appropriations this time.] However, we are definitely NOT out of the woods and faced opposition from Fish and Game, CA Waterfowl, Defenders of Wildife and the Planning and Conservation League.

Testifying in support was our terrific author Senator Dede Alpert whose comments were absolutely terrific and on target. Also testifying support besides Californians For Ferret Legalization were Mike Dillon for the California Veterinary Medical Association, Kevin Pedrotti for the Pet Industries Joint Advisory Council, Virginia Handley from Fund for Animals, and an individual ferret supporter, Jim March. A big thanks to all of them!

We must still pass the Assembly Appropriations Committee and the full California State Assembly and the Governor so there are still three more hurdles to clear before your domesticated pets are granted amnesty here in California.

The bill as passed would require a one time fee of $75.00 per ferret and proof that the ferret is spayed/neutered and vaccinated against rabies. The ferret is then granted an amnesty card. Card carrying ferret(s) are protected for life. Should this bill pass, I encourage all of you to pay this fee to guarantee that your ferret is safe from confiscation, from the threat of a mean and vindictive neighbor, ex-spouse or ex-employee. I know that those of you with many ferrets will find this fee a very large burden but keep in mind that each registered ferret is safe from the hands of Fish and Game. Also keep in mind that current permit holders pay almost $300.00 per ferret annually and face inspections!

The majority of your fee, $50.00 will go to a fund to complete an environmental document and the Fish and Game Commission MUST review this issue, the environmental document and public testimony in 2006. In other words, the ball will be rolling to lift this inane ban on this harmless domesticated pet.

The Committee Members voting in support of our bill were as follows:

Joseph Canciamilla, Chair Dem-11
Tim Leslie, Vice Chair Rep-4
Patty Berg Dem-1
Rick Keene Rep-3
Lynn Daucher Rep-72
Jackie Goldberg Dem-45
Shirley Horton Rep-78
Christine Kehoe Dem-76
Alan Lowenthal Dem-54
Barbara S. Matthews Dem-17
Todd Spitzer Rep-71
Lois Wolk Dem-8

Those opposed:
Nicole Parra Dem-30

Abstaining:
Fran Pavley Dem-41
Rudy Berm�dez Dem-56

Absent:
Dario Frommer Dem-43

Active chapters of all of the California ferret organizations please mobilize to contact your Assemblymembers on SB 89.

If this will help you in writing your letters, please feel free to use any or all of it. It was my unedited testimony in front of the Water Parks and Wildlife Committee today. Remember to let your Assemblymembers know that in the absense of amnesty, which is long overdue, no ferret owner in California would pay a fee for an environmental document!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The first ferret bill in California was introduced 10 years ago. Clearly this issue has some staying power.

You can now visit any CA pet store and there will be a ferret isle with ferret specific products. Veterinarians can legally treat ferrets, 20% of all ferret food is sold here, and Ferrets Magazine sells more copies in California than any other state. Ferrets are here, they�ve been here in large numbers for well over a decade, yet, there are not now, nor ever have been any documented feral populations of these pets either here in California or in the rest of the country. This fact was confirmed by our Department of Fish and Game in a 1997 nationwide survey. That�s a distinction not shared by other domesticated pets.

Since the first ferret legalization bill in 1994, ferret owners in California have compromised again and again trying to work with the opposition and allay their concerns, in the end agreeing to the most restrictive pet ownership bill ever. Why? Because ferret owners crave the same legal status for themselves and their pets that owners of domesticated animals, including ferrets, enjoy in the rest of the country.

Ferret owners in California have had their pets taken away and sometimes destroyed. They�ve been fined, and in a few cases jailed. They are subject to blackmail by anyone angry at them for any reason. An ex-spouse, ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, or ex-employee has an easy target for their anger. It�s happend time and time again.

It is important to remember that the animals we are talking about are legal in the rest of the country. It�s also important to remember that they are domesticated. Every authority including the United States Department of Agriculture, Museum of Natural History, Humane Society of the United Sates and over 150 zoos and zoological societies refer to the ferret as domesticated. Even our own department of Fish and Game acknowledges this fact, yet, the ferret finds itself in the hands of a wildlife agency, specifically named in a section entitled the Importation, Transportation and Possession of Live Wild Animals. This makes no sense.

Shortly before the introduction of our first bill, the Fish and Game Commission removed two animals from the prohibited species list, the Buffalo and Camel, without an environmental document. Why were these animals removed? The Executive Director of the Fish and Game Commission confirmed that they were removed because they were domesticated. They didn�t belong in a list of prohibited wildlife. Neither does the ferret.

That is the principal reason why Californians routinely break this law. Ferret owners in California are the same as ferret owners in the other 48 states. They are not bad people, and they are not breaking the spirit of any law. The law is what is bad and the process to correct this law should begin today.

Please support this bill.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Our Bill to be Heard June 8th

5/11/2004

Our bill will be heard in the Water Parks and Wildlife Committee on June 8th, 2004 in Sacramento. I strongly urge you to write at this time to your Assemblymember even if you have written in the past, especially if he or she is on the Water Parks and Wildlife Committee. Remember, our bill must get through this committee so it can go to the Governor, or it will die again this year.

To find out the name of your State Assemblymember go to:

http://www.ferretnews.org/legislators.html.

You may all write to the committee chair however, Assemblymember Canciamilla and ask him to support this bill. As chair, it is appropriate for you to write to him. but know your ferret facts before you write but keep it to just one page. To read up on "Ferret Facts" Visit the CFL webpage and click on the Facts link or go to:

http://www.ferretnews.org/fact1.html

Here are the Assemblymembers on the Water Parks and Wildlife committee:

Take a look at this list of State Assemblyembmers to see if you are in one of their districts. Again, you can find your representative by visiting this link:

http://www.ferretnews.org/legislators.html

All you have to do then is to type in your zip code and you will be told who represents you in the State Capitol. This bill has already passed the Senate last year but must pass the Assembly to go to the Governor. If it doesn't pass this committee it will die!

When you write, you must use your name and address so your representative k nows you are a constituent. If you are not willing to write, your legislator will not know there is support for legalizing ferrets and frankly there's not much chance we will ever change this ridiculous law.

Here's how to address your letters to Assemblymember Canciamilla. To write to another member of the committee if he or she represents you, simply put their name, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Joseph Canciamilla, Chair
Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Members of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee:
Joseph Canciamilla, Chair Dem-11 (916) 319-2011
Tim Leslie, Vice Chair Rep-4 (916) 319-2004
Patty Berg Dem-1 (916) 319-2001
Rudy Berm�dez Dem-56 (916) 319-2056
Rick Keene Rep-3 (916) 319-2003
Lynn Daucher Rep-72 (916) 319-2072
Dario Frommer Dem-43 (916) 319-2043
Jackie Goldberg Dem-45 (916) 319-2045
Shirley Horton Rep-78 (916) 319-2078
Christine Kehoe Dem-76 (916) 319-2076
Alan Lowenthal Dem-54 (916) 319-2054
Barbara S. Matthews Dem-17 (916) 319-2017
Nicole Parra Dem-30 (916) 319-2030
Fran Pavley Dem-41 (916) 319-2041
Todd Spitzer Rep-71 (916) 319-2071
Lois Wolk Dem-8 (916) 319-2008

Please ask family and friends to write as well. This bill won't pass without your active participation!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Meeting With Governor's Staff

3/9/2004

As you should know by now, our bill SB 89, authored by Senator Dede Alpert, passed the Senate last year but has not come out of the Assembly policy committee, Water, Parks and Wildlife. In the interim, the state of California elected a new governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who we hope will be more receptive to this issue. He did tell two of our members during his campaign that he would sign SB 89 if it made it to his desk.

But, my father and I were in Sacramento today meeting with one of the Governor's staffers and it's clear that the Department of Fish and Game intends to try to convince the Governor's office to oppose our bill and they may just well do it! So here's what you need to do and you need to do it now, because they are very close to taking whatever position they will on our bill.

If you live in California, sit down TODAY and write a short, one page letter to the Governor urging him to NOT allow DFG to oppose the ferret amnesty bill. Tell the Governor that ferrets are a domesticated pet that does not belong in the hands of a wildlife agency. Tell the Governor that ferrets are legal in the rest of the country and should not be banned in California. Tell him that you are aware of the 1996-97 Nationwide Ferret Survey by the Department of Fish and Game in which all 50 states said they had no suspected or documented ferrets breeding in the wild either now or in the past.

Write to:

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Please write as soon as you read this. To delay means we might miss our chance and letting the Governor know how much we care. If you don't live in California, please don't write, it's pointless. If you do live in California, please include your address in your letter. Remember, just because you support this issue doesn't mean you own ferrets. And if you don't write, the law may never be changed.

I'm leaving on 3/10/04 for a trip so I'll be out of touch for a couple of weeks so if you e-mail me you won't get a reply for some time.

Please write and ask all of your friends and family to write as well.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750 ferretnews@aol.com

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Our bill needs help!

11/17/2003

The Californians for Ferret Legalization website is back up and running. You can bookmark it at http://www.ferretnews.org/. Scott Beisner put up this website and has maintained it for years now and I'm hoping that the least we can do for him is to help with the monthly charge which is approximately $20.00 I believe. If you can sponsor the CFL webpage for a month, please send a check in the name of Scott Beisner to the CFL address below. He's done so much for us for so many years, and has a growing family with all of those time and financial committments. I'd really like to see him get some help for the cost of the site.

Also, for the first time in many years, with the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger, we have a governor that is very likely to sign a ferret bill. The problem is, we're stuck in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and I"m not certain we're going to get out of there! We need your help to clear this committee and keep our bill, SB 89, moving.

It's clear that we are going to need our lobbyist to help us get out of this committee and we don't have the funds for much of his time which he bills at a discount for this issue. Please help by sending whatever you can to the address below. You can make your check out to Nielsen Merksamer (the name of the lobbying firm in Sacramento) and I will forward them in a batch. Let's not give up just when the top guy in Sacramento is finally friendly to ferrets.

To help, you must find out the name of your State Assemblymember. Then look at the list of Assemblymembers below and if your Assemblymember's name appears, you must write to him/her and ask them to support SB 89. You may all write to the committee chair however, Assemblymember Canciamilla and ask him to support this bill. As chair, it is appropriate for you to write to him. but know your ferret facts before you write but keep it to just one page. To read up on "Ferret Facts" Visit the CFL webpage and click on the Facts link or go to:

http://www.ferretnews.org/fact1.html

Here are the Assemblymembers on the Water Parks and Wildlife committee:

Take a look at this list of State Assemblyembmers to see if you are in one of their districts. You can find your representative by visiting this link:

http://www.ferretnews.org/legislators.html

All you have to do then is to type in your zip code and you will be told who represents you in the State Capitol. Please write to both your State Senator and State Assemblymember. You must use your name and address so your representative knows you are a constituent. If you are not willing to write, your legislator will not know there is support for legalizing ferrets and frankly there's not much chance we will ever change this ridiculous law.

Members of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee:
Joseph Canciamilla, Chair Dem-11 (916) 319-2011
Rick Keene, Vice Chair Rep-3 (916) 319-2003
Patty Berg Dem-1 (916) 319-2001
Rudy Berm�dez Dem-56 (916) 319-2056
Ellen M. Corbett Dem-18 (916) 319-2018
Lynn Daucher Rep-72 (916) 319-2072
Mervyn M. Dymally Dem-52 (916) 319-2052
Dario Frommer Dem-43 (916) 319-2043
Jackie Goldberg Dem-45 (916) 319-2045
Shirley Horton Rep-78 (916) 319-2078
Christine Kehoe Dem-76 (916) 319-2076
Tim Leslie Rep-4 (916) 319-2004
Alan Lowenthal Dem-54 (916) 319-2054
Barbara S. Matthews Dem-17 (916) 319-2017
Kevin McCarthy Rep-32 (916) 319-2032
Nicole Parra Dem-30 (916) 319-2030
Fran Pavley Dem-41 (916) 319-2041
George A. Plescia Rep-75 (916) 319-2075
Todd Spitzer Rep-71 (916) 319-2071
Lois Wolk Dem-8 (916) 319-2008

Use our fact sheet to write your letter. Your letter may be as simple as:
Dear Assemblymember --------
Please support SB 89.
Sincerely,
Your name and address.

Please ask friends and family to write as well!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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SB 89 Now a Two Year Bill

7/8/2003

Today's hearing on our bill was cancelled. The author wasn't certain that the bill would pass this committee and, given the governor's likely veto, would like to see a bill that can satisfy him.

The problem is, we don't have much room to manuver. They want us to pay for a study (which will not necessarily legalize ferrets given the huge bias of both the Fish and Game Commission and the Fish and Game Department) prior to any amnesty.

Our position has always been that if they want us to pay for a study (which no other domesticated pet owner has had to do, ever!) they must give ferret owners something in return-- amnesty.

So, I don't know where we go from here but I do know that not enough of you have written to your State Assemblymembers or taken the time to request a meeting. With more help from more of you (letters and constituent visits), we might have had a better reception by this committee.

This bill will go forward and be heard next year, but what shape it will take may very well depend directly upon your efforts and the recommendations by our author's office. I strongly suggest that you ask friends and family to write to their State Assemblymembers, meet with your Assemblymember and ask for his/her support (we do not have to pass the Senate again).

Here is the link for finding out that name of your State Assemblymember:

"Know your local representative"

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Water Parks & Wildlife Hearing Postponed until July 7th

7/2/2003

Our author postponed our hearing until July 8th. Our bill will be heard on that date unless the author feels that we haven't been able to adequately inform the committee members of it's merits. But that's where you come in! If you haven't written to your State Senator, you may be responsible in part for our bill not being heard. Representatives respond to their constituents so you must write if you want our bill to have a fair hearing.

To find out who represesents you in the State Capitol go to:

"Know your local representative"

You may also write to the Committee Chair. His name and address are:

Joseph Canciamilla, Chair
Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

If you want to see our bill get to the Governor, you must write today! We've never had a better author and a better opportunity.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Hearing Tues. July 1

6/26/2003

Just to let you know that our hearing in the Water Parks and Wildlife Committee is this coming Tuesday July 1st in room 437. The committee meets at 9 a.m but I don't know exactly when our bill will be up so we'll be there at 9:00 sharp.

Californians for Ferret Legalization did a mailing to our members in most of these districts except in the San Diego area where we hope that Ferrets Anonymous would took the initiative since that and LA are their really strong areas-- and also because the cost of these mailings is tremendous!

If you didn't recieve a letter from us we either don't have your mailing address or you are not represented by one of these State Assemblymembers. But it's simple to find out the name of your Assemblymember and it's not too late to write in!

Please, take a look at this list of State Assemblyembmers and check your zip code to see if you are in one of their districts. You can find your representative by visiting this link

"Know your local representative"

All you have to do then is to type in your zip code and you will be told who represents you in the State Capitol. Please write to both your State Senator and State Assemblymember. You must use your name and address so your representative knows you are a constituent. If you are not willing to write, your legislator will not know there is support for legalizing ferrets and frankly there's not much chance we will ever change this ridiculous law.

Members of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee

Joseph Canciamilla, Chair Dem-11 (916) 319-2011
Rick Keene, Vice Chair Rep-3 (916) 319-2003
Patty Berg Dem-1 (916) 319-2001
Rudy Berm�dez Dem-56 (916) 319-2056
Ellen M. Corbett Dem-18 (916) 319-2018
Lynn Daucher Rep-72 (916) 319-2072
Mervyn M. Dymally Dem-52 (916) 319-2052
Dario Frommer Dem-43 (916) 319-2043
Jackie Goldberg Dem-45 (916) 319-2045
Shirley Horton Rep-78 (916) 319-2078
Christine Kehoe Dem-76 (916) 319-2076
Tim Leslie Rep-4 (916) 319-2004
Alan Lowenthal Dem-54 (916) 319-2054
Barbara S. Matthews Dem-17 (916) 319-2017
Kevin McCarthy Rep-32 (916) 319-2032
Nicole Parra Dem-30 (916) 319-2030
Fran Pavley Dem-41 (916) 319-2041
George A. Plescia Rep-75 (916) 319-2075
Todd Spitzer Rep-71 (916) 319-2071
Lois Wolk Dem-8 (916) 319-2008

Use our fact sheet to write your letter. Your letter may be as simple as:

Dear Assemblymember --------

Please support SB 89.

Sincerely,

Your name and address.

Write those letters now if you haven't already or call in your support.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Need Volunteers to Meet with These Assembylmembers!

6/5/2003

SB 89 has passed the Senate but still must pass two committees in the Assembly then the full Assembly and the Governor. It's time to write to your State Assemblymember, or better yet, visit him or her. You can find out who represents you by visiting the Californians for Ferret Legalization webpage and clicking on "Know your local representative".

All you have to do then is to type in your zip code and you will be told who represents you in the State Capitol. Please write to both your State Senator and State Assemblymember. You must use your name and address so your representative knows you are a constituent. If you are not willing to write, your legislator will not know there is support for legalizing ferrets and frankly there's not much chance we will ever change this ridiculous law.

Do not ask me to look up your Representatives or those of your friends or family members. You need to do that for yourself, I don't have the time!

If your Assemblymember is one of the Assemblymembers listed below, then he/she is a member of a very important committee who will vote on our bill next. I need volunteers to meet with these Assemblyemembers and ask them to support our very limited ferret amnesty bill. Please e-mail me with the name of your Assemblymember if it's listed below we NEED YOU to volunteer to meet with him or her. Remember, this is the committee that effectively killed our bill last year!

Water Parks and Wildlife Committee

Joseph Canciamilla, Chair Dem-11 (916) 319-2011
Rick Keene, Vice Chair Rep-3 (916) 319-2003
Patty Berg Dem-1 (916) 319-2001
Rudy Berm�dez Dem-56 (916) 319-2056
Ellen M. Corbett Dem-18 (916) 319-2018
Lynn Daucher Rep-72 (916) 319-2072
Mervyn M. Dymally Dem-52 (916) 319-2052
Dario Frommer Dem-43 (916) 319-2043
Jackie Goldberg Dem-45 (916) 319-2045
Shirley Horton Rep-78 (916) 319-2078
Christine Kehoe Dem-76 (916) 319-2076
Tim Leslie Rep-4 (916) 319-2004
Alan Lowenthal Dem-54 (916) 319-2054
Barbara S. Matthews Dem-17 (916) 319-2017
Kevin McCarthy Rep-32 (916) 319-2032
Nicole Parra Dem-30 (916) 319-2030
Fran Pavley Dem-41 (916) 319-2041
George A. Plescia Rep-75 (916) 319-2075
Todd Spitzer Rep-71 (916) 319-2071
Lois Wolk Dem-8 (916) 319-2008

Keep your letters to a single page and to help you can use our ferret fact sheet to frame your arguments. You can find a copy by visiting this link:

"Know your facts and fictions"

If you have written to your State Assemblyemember, WRITE AGAIN! Let them know this issue won't go away. Know your facts before going in. Read our website well. But the best single argument is that ferrets are legal in 48 states. They are domesticated and therefore outside the jurisdiction of a wildlife agency!

You should also write to our Governor, Governor Gray Davis Arnold Schwarzenegger and tell him that California should not criminalize people for something they can do legally in the rest of the country. His address is:

Governor Gray Davis Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

If you would like to send a contribution so that we may continue to use our lobbyist, please make the check out to Nielsen Merksamer and mail it to:

Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Rd.
Woodside, CA 94062

Thanks so much.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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SB 89 Passed the Senate Today!!!

6/4/2003

I just got the great news that our ferret amnesty bill passed the Senate today! Hooray!!

The vote was 31-5. The "No" votes were Senators Burton, Florez, Johnson, Machado, and Vasconcellos. Not voting were Cedillo, Chesbro, Ortiz, and Torlakson (who is a co-author and supporter).

But you should know that we still have to pass through two committees in the Assembly, the Assembly itself, and the Governor. Needless to say, this isn't the end of our battle. Past bills have almost invarialbly passed the first house (either the Senate or Assembly) only to be shot down in the other half of the legislature.

Our next committee, the Water Parks and Wildlife Committee gutted our bill last year severlye enough to make it meaningless. We still need your help to get this bill through the Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee. Besides writing to the chair of the WPW Committee and your individual Assembly member, please consider a donation to help pay for Mr. Naylor's invaluable help with our bill. I've reserved the donations sent in thus far to be earmarked for this committee in particular. If you want to help us use Bob, please mail a check to CFL (our address is below) made out to the lobbying firm, Nielsen, Merksamer.

Please be sure to do your part to help this bill pass this year!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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SB 89 Passes Senate Appropriations Committee-- Now Goes to Full Senate by 6/6

5/30/2003

Just a quick note to let you know that SB 89 passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and will go before the full Senate by June 6th. Please call or write your State Senator (if you have not done so already!) and urge him/her to support this bill.

We expect to pass the Senate but will have to pass two committees and the full Assembly floor before going to the Governor-- that's three more votes assuming we do pass the Senate. so there's lots more work to do. We may have some difficulty in the first committee in the Assembly, so now is a good time to write to the the members of the Water Parks and Wildlife Committee if they represent you.

We need volunteers to meet with their State Assemlymembers who sit on the Water Parks and Wildlife Committee. This the the committee that gutted our bill last year so we absolutely need your help, especially with the chairman who is in the Pittsburg, Antioch area.

Below are the members of this committee. Please review them carefully and if they are your State Assemblymembers, contact them and ask for their help in passing SB 89! Do NOT contact members of this committee if they do not represent you. The only exception is the chair of the committee.

Assemblly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee

Joseph Canciamilla, Chair Dem-11 (916) 319-2011
Rick Keene, Vice Chair Rep-3 (916) 319-2003
Patty Berg Dem-1 (916) 319-2001
Rudy Berm�dez Dem-56 (916) 319-2056
Ellen M. Corbett Dem-18 (916) 319-2018
Lynn Daucher Rep-72 (916) 319-2072
Mervyn M. Dymally Dem-52 (916) 319-2052
Dario Frommer Dem-43 (916) 319-2043
Jackie Goldberg Dem-45 (916) 319-2045
Shirley Horton Rep-78 (916) 319-2078
Christine Kehoe Dem-76 (916) 319-2076
Tim Leslie Rep-4 (916) 319-2004
Alan Lowenthal Dem-54 (916) 319-2054
Barbara S. Matthews Dem-17 (916) 319-2017
Kevin McCarthy Rep-32 (916) 319-2032
Nicole Parra Dem-30 (916) 319-2030
Fran Pavley Dem-41 (916) 319-2041
George A. Plescia Rep-75 (916) 319-2075
Todd Spitzer Rep-71 (916) 319-2071
Lois Wolk Dem-8 (916) 319-2008

Please let me know if you can help!

It's also a good time to write to Senator Alpert and thank her for introducing SB 89. Her address is:

Senator Dede Alpert
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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SB 89 Passes Senate Natural Resources. Appropriations Hearing 4/7

3/30/2003

SB 89 has passed the Senate Natural Resources hearing on a 6-0 vote (two members we know support us were absent). The next hearing is scheduled for 4/7 but because the bill involves more than 150,000.00 it will be put in suspense. But, it will move out of that committee at some point to the Senate floor. So, now is the time for you to contact your State Senator and urge him or her to support the bill when it is before him.

We also need volunteers to meet with their State Assemlymembers who sit on the Water Parks and Wildlife Committee. This the the committee that gutted our bill last year so we absolutely need your help, especially with the chairman who is in the Pittsburg, Antioch area.

Below are the members of this committee.

Joseph Canciamilla, Chair Dem-11 (916) 319-2011
Rick Keene, Vice Chair Rep-3 (916) 319-2003
Patty Berg Dem-1 (916) 319-2001
Rudy Berm�dez Dem-56 (916) 319-2056
Ellen M. Corbett Dem-18 (916) 319-2018
Lynn Daucher Rep-72 (916) 319-2072
Mervyn M. Dymally Dem-52 (916) 319-2052
Dario Frommer Dem-43 (916) 319-2043
Jackie Goldberg Dem-45 (916) 319-2045
Shirley Horton Rep-78 (916) 319-2078
Christine Kehoe Dem-76 (916) 319-2076
Tim Leslie Rep-4 (916) 319-2004
Alan Lowenthal Dem-54 (916) 319-2054
Barbara S. Matthews Dem-17 (916) 319-2017
Kevin McCarthy Rep-32 (916) 319-2032
Nicole Parra Dem-30 (916) 319-2030
Fran Pavley Dem-41 (916) 319-2041
George A. Plescia Rep-75 (916) 319-2075
Todd Spitzer Rep-71 (916) 319-2071
Lois Wolk Dem-8 (916) 319-2008

Please let me know if you can help!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Write to YOUR State Senator!

2/18/2003

Some of you said that the address to send your donations to didn't show on my last e-mail. I apologize. Here is the address:

Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road
Woodside, CA 94062

Again, I can't tell you how important the help of a good lobbyist is. Bob Naylor isn't just good, he's outstanding, well respected by both parties. Please help us retain him and his firm again this session. The checks should be made out to:

Nielsen Merksamer and sent to the address above.

Also, some of you have written to ask which Senator to write to. You can all write to the chair of the present Committee, Sheila Kuehl, and thank her for her co-authorship, but it is IMPERATIVE that you write to your own State Senator. Here's how you find out who that is. Go to:

"Know your local representative"

Simply type in your zip code and you will see the names of your State Senator and State Assemblymember. If more than one Senator or Assemblymember appears, then you need to call your County Registrar of Voters (the Tel# is in your phone book or call 411) because your district is split. By giving your exact address to your County Registrar of Voters, you can find out who represents you.

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SB 89 Has First Committee Hearing March 11th

2/16/2003

Our bill, SB 89 has 14 Senate co-authors! They are as follows:

Senator Alpert (principal author), Senator Battin, Senator Ducheny, Senator Figueroa, Senator Karnette, Senator Kuehl, Senator Margett, Senator Oller, Senator Perata, Senator Romero, Senator Sher, Senator Speier, Senator Torlakson and Senator Vincent.

To read the text of the bill, visit:

http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/bill/sen/sb_0051-0100/sb_89_bill_20030127_introduced.html

Our first hearing will be in the Senate Natural Resources Committe on Tuesday, March 11th. Please write now to the chair of that committee, Senator Khuel (who is a co-author therefore a supporter), and Senator Alper to thank her for introducing SB 89. And most important, please write immediately to your own State Senator. If you haven't yet visited your State Senator, now is the time to set up a district meeting. I've been asked to testify and plan to (unless surgery prevents it) so if you plan on attending the hearing I'll see you there.

Other members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee (*Designates Author or Co-Author)

*Senator Sheila Kuehl (Chair)
*Senator Rico Oller (Vice-Chair)
*Senator Dede Alpert
Senator Debra Bowen
Senator Jeff Denham
Senator Dennis Hollingsworth
Senator Deborah Ortiz
*Senator Byron Sher
*Senator Tom Torlakson

To write to a State Senator, please address your letter as follows:

Senator XXXXXX
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

For the content of your letter, you can either use our fact sheet to help you frame your arguments.

or see the example letter below:

Dear Senator XXXXX

I'm writing to urge you to support SB 89. SB 89 addresses the long standing problem of California's unique ban on the domesticated ferret. Ferrets are legal as pets in every other state on the continent and, as a domesticated pet, do not belong in the hands of a wildlife agency. This first step will decriminalize current ferret owners in California for doing something the rest of the country can do with impunity while the state finally begins the process of addressing this issue.

Sincerely,

Your name
Your address

If you don't want to include your address, don't bother writing. Your letter WILL NOT COUNT! It will be a waste of your time (and mine for writing this update).

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

GREAT NEWS

We have a prinicipal co-author in the Assembly who is very supportive of our bill! Assembly member Paul Koretz will shephard our bill through that body, but for it to pass, he will need your help as does Senator Alpert in the Senate. The ONLY way you can directly help this bill personally is by writing to your State Senator and Assemblymember! It is the single MOST important thing you can go for this bill!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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Need to Retain Our Lobbyist-- This Year We Could Reach the Governor

2/16/2003

In the past, Californians for Ferret Legalization has benefited from the invaluable help of Bob Naylor from Nielsen Merksamer, a very well respected lobbying firm in Sacramento. Bob gets this issue directly in front of key Senators and Assembymembers. Because of his reputation, doors are open to the presentation of our facts and we have had key meetings with both Senators and Assemblymembers about our efforts to legalize ferrets in California. We wouldn't enjoy the support that we do today without his help.

But to continue to be able to use Bob's services (which are billed at a reduced rate for us) we need your help! Please send whatever you can so we can continue to use the services of one of the most well respected lobbyists in Sacramento.

If you would like to see our issue have the help of a lobbyist, please make your checks out directly to the lobbying firm by making them out to:

Nielsen Merksamer

or, if you want to make them to Californians for Ferret Legalization at the address below, that's fine too. I will mail them to the firm and also be able to visualize how much help we can rely on based on the level of donations.

Last session we spent $5,000.00 at Neilsen Merksamer. I would hope to raise at least that much but, given the economy, know it might be difficult. Please send what you can. I hope we can count on Bob's help again this year. This may be the first bill to reach the Governor's desk!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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New bill and TV coverage

2/5/2003

Our new ferret amnesty bill SB 85, has been introduced with multiple co-authors! Now is the time to write to your State Senators (since the bill will begin in the Senate). We expect to pass the Senate but the Assembly may be more difficult!

Those of you in the bay area may enjoy Evening Magazine's coverage on ferrets. The program will feature ferrets in a segment on February 10th at 7:00 PM on channel 5. This program reaches from the San Francisco Bay Area to Fairfield, Tracy and Gilroy (sadly not Santa Cruz I'm told).

Anyway, for those of you in this area, you might enjoy watching.

Finally, our webmaster needs your help! He has paid for the hosting of our website for almost 10 years! He's also done all of the hard work to manage and update the site in spite of a new and growing family.

Please let him know directly if you can help in one of two ways:

1) We need a free home for our website

2) Scott needs help maintaining and updating the site

Click here to email Scott. Since I am an ignoramus on web stuff, please concact him directly if you can help.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

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SB1093 Fails to Make it Off Suspense File

9/6/2001

The latest regarding SB 1093 is that the bill has failed to make it off the suspense file. That means it will be held there until next year where it will either be voted on or held again and die as it did in the Senate Appropriations Committee under Senator Johnston.

Assemblymember Migden, Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee said, "this is a bad year for ferrets--the bill is being held in Committee." The suspense file is usually a matter of dollars and priorities, though there is the possibility that Governor Davis asked that the bill not reach his desk. The best thing we can do in the future is ensure that there is no study in any ferret legalization bill.

I'll pass along more information as I find it out. Please do NOT call me for information or updates. I simply cannot accept phone calls and have passed along all of the information I have available to me at this point. Thanks for your consideration on this matter.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


43,490 Signatures Delivered After 61 Mile Bike Ride! Our Favorite Senator Attended

9/5/2001

Myself and three other brave bicyclists left Antioch this morning at approximately 6:15 AM on a 61 mile trek to the State Capitol to deliver 43,490 signatures to Governor Davis. Dr. Deb, an ironman triathlete set the pace between 15 and 20 mph despite a headwind. Since she set the pace, she got to lead and I drafted! Michelle, who moved here from New York and had to give up her ferret valiantly rode a mountain bike and Lee Donehower of LOS bravely tackled the ride with virtually no training!

Just minutes before taking off, Deb and I were watching the morning news and saw a news crew delivering, just the day before, 30,000 signatures to Governor Davis regarding energy rates and regulations. Wow, I thought, this is great! That issue is an economic issue that touches everyone in this state and we gathered over 25% more signatures than they did. It shows the depth of our issue and the depth of our commitment.

Armed with that news, we sped off at approximately 6:15 AM from Antioch. We were aided by 5 cars driving as sag wagons (including an ambulance complete with siren, loudspeaker and flashing lights). We also had a huge ferret camera crew led by the Golden State Ferret folks. At about 2 hours into the trip, some of the smarter folks pulled off for breakfast but we stayed the course since we were expected by 10:00 AM or 10:30 AM for media interviews.

We rolled up to the capitol at approximately 10:30 and were met by at least two camera crews and two or three reporters. We and the petitions were filmed, complete with helmet hair, sweaty and grimy from the 4 hour ride. Michelle had delicately placed a stuffed ferret between the handle bars of her bike and it was a great visual for the media.

Senator Johannessen's press aide came down to meet us and then left to see if the Senator could join us. We were really hoping to see him and thank him again for his support so a few minutes later he joined us on the Capitol lawn, did some press interviews and escorted us into the Governor's office.

We told the woman at the reception desk that we had some ferret petitions to deliver to the Governor and she said how much she liked ferrets, that her brother used to have one-- great, I hope they got that on tape! Next, the security officer, looking decidedly like secret service with the ear phones and all, pointed to our Convict T's and said, "Nice shirt, I've heard ferrets are really playful."

A nice young man then appeared to introduce himself as someone from the Governor's office. He was there for the petitions so we stacked two large legal boxes in his arms and watched as the cameraman filmed him disappearing through an office door. I hope the Governor hears our message today.

I want to congratulate the many Californians that worked so hard to gather these petitions. As I told the press, there was no economic incentive or drive behind the hard work it took to gather these signatures, only a strong emotional one.

Way to go everyone!

Now, I'm going to eat a HUGE dinner, shower and go to bed early. Look at your local paper, or TV station for possible coverage tonight. If you can tape it, let me know, I might be in bed!!! I think I'll leave the bike in it's stand tomorrow.

:)

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Final Signature Count!

9/04/2001

Congratulations to those of you who participated in our signature drive!

We will be delivering 43,328 signatures to Governor Gray Davis tomorrow. Now is a good time to remind Governor Davis of the unfairness of the ferret ban in California. This is the only state on the continent to criminalize people for choosing one domesticated pet over another.

To write to Governor Davis, address your letters to:

Governor Gray Davis
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Letter to Assemblywoman Migden/Signatures now at just under 39,000!

8/26/2001

This is the letter I sent to Assemblywoman Migden asking for her help. If it helps you write a letter, use the arguments but it's best to use your own words.

Also, we are at just under 39,000 signatures with one week to go! Can we break 40,000???

Today I rode 52 miles and am heading off to take a nap. I know one thing, I"m not driving home from Sacramento after the ride, I will be asleep.

August 24, 2001

Assemblywoman Carole Migden
Assembly Appropriations
Room 2114, State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Assemblywoman Migden,

I am writing to ask your help to fund the ferret study at a rational level to ensure that this bill reaches the Governor's desk and is one he can sign. Let me say parenthetically that it is our belief, as well as the California State Senate's, that a study of the ferret issue is not warranted. The fact is that the ferret is a domesticated animal and does not belong in a list of prohibited wildlife. A study holds this domesticated pet to a standard other domesticated pets have not had to meet. This is one of the reasons why the ferret is legal in the rest of the country and why the law is so routinely broken by so many Californians.

Unfortunately our bill was gutted in the Assembly policy committee to simply appropriate funding for such a study. While we are very disappointed at this turn of events, we know that an honest look at this issue, by a neutral third party, will resolve this long standing problem in our favor. In the context of other domesticated pets, the ferret is an environmental gem. It has no impact on the environment. We are very concerned, however, by the Department of Fish and Game's claim that such a study would cost $250,000.00. We believe it is a clear move to kill this bill.

Last year, when the Fish and Game Commission asked ferret owners to fund an EIR the estimate from the department was $100,000.00. Now it's $250,000.00, or more. What can this money possibly be spent on? The department already surveyed all 50 states regarding feral ferrets (none were found). They do not need to survey them again. Would a look at the numbers of ferrets picked up by humane agencies and animal control facilities in states which have recently legalized ferrets be appropriate? Fine, but how much can this possibly cost? The appropriation for this study should not exceed the original estimate of $100,000.00, and the department should be required to justify any amount over their original estimate of $100,000.00.

But one has to wonder if money is the real issue here, except to kill the bill. The Department's latest letter of opposition to the appropriation of any monies from the general fund reveals that they do not want answers, they do not want a solution, or an honest look at this issue, they want the status quo. The state should pay for this study if they believe it's necessary.

Ferret owners do not have the funds for a study. There is no profit channel for them in their choice of one domesticated pet over another, and their right to choose the ferret as a pet should not be held hostage to the cost of an expensive environmental document.

We also wholly support the ammendments put forth by our author's office. They are intended to keep the study's parameters reasonable, it's context comparable (other domesticated pets) and its scope limited to California and the United States. An environmental document can have no meaning when its scope is worldwide. We also want to ensure that a neutral third party conducts the study and that no live ferrets are used in the study. These compromises are both fair and humane.

Please help us put a rational figure on this study and a fair bill on the governor's desk. Ferret owners in this state deserve a hearing on this issue. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


SB 1093 Needs Your Help

8/26/2001

SB 1093 will likely be considered this week and hopefully removed from the suspense file and voted on. But it is important that you all write to the Chair, Assemblywoman Carole Migden and ask her to help us put a reasonably funded bill on the governor's desk. We also want to see the following ammendments in our bill which are both fair and reasonable.

1. No live ferrets can be used in the study. Releasing pet ferrets into the wild is simply inhumane -- ferrets don't survive.

2. The EIR must be conducted by a neutral third party. The DFG has been the ONLY wildlife agency in the country to oppose ferret legalization. We are not confident that they will select an unbiased contractor.

3. At the conclusion of the EIR, the issue must again come before the legislature. The Fish and Game Commission consists of a few appointed officials, and it is unfair to restrict the decision on ferret legalization to unelected individuals.

4. The cost of the study should be reduced significantly. DFG has consistenly overestimated the cost of a study in an effort to stonewall this process. Their own 1997 survey of the impact of ferrets in all 50 states contains relevant data for this EIR. We believe a comprehensive environmental report can be made for a fraction of the $250,000 requested by DFG.

5. DFG should agree to a moratorium on enforcement during the course of the EIR. The current ferret ban is unfair. DFG's restriction requires officials to prosecute Californians for "possession" of a tiny, harmless, housebound pet. This puts a burden on animal control agencies, clogs our courts, wastes valuable resources, and hurts innocent citizens.

6. The scope of the study should be limited to the California or like biosphere's, not the entire world requested by DFG. An ENVIRONMENTAL document has no meaning if it's scope is worldwide.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Californians, remember, you must reside in the district for your letter have any impact on the decision of the members listed below. Please do NOT write if you do not live in the district. It will only hurt our issue if you do. The only exception is the Chair, Assemblymember Migden. Anyone who wishes to write her a polite letter is welcome to do so. She has been a supporter of ours in the past.

When you do write, be sure to include your name and address on all correspondence, including e-mails, otherwise your letter or e-mail will not be counted! You will find e-mail addresses below, but do not e-mail any Senator that does not represent you. That will only hurt our efforts.

If your State Assemblymember is listed below, simply write Assemblymember followed by this or her name and this address: State Capitol, Sacramento, CA, 95814. You will also find their ferret voting history listed and if they supported legalization in the past, please thank them for their support. If they voted against legalization, or are a new member, please urge them to decriminalize ferret ownership for these reasons (and please, please always be polite!!!).

I have removed past ferret voting history because of the changed nature of our bill.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Carole Migden, Chair Assembly Appropriations Committee
(D-13) tel(916)319-2013, fax (916)319-2113
Areas representing: Eastern half of San Francisco.

Elaine Alquist (D-22) tel(916)319-2022, fax(916)319-2122
Area representing: Santa Clara county including the cities of Mountain View, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.

Dion Aroner (D-14) tel(916)319-2014, fax(916)319-2114
Area representing: Alameda & Contra Costa Counties including the cities of Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond and San Pablo.

Roy Ashburn (R-32) tel(916)319-2032, fax(916) 319-2132
Area representing: Parts of Kern &Tulare; counties including Kern River Valley, Bakersfield, Lake Isabella, Lindsay, Porterville, Strathmore, Tulare and Visalia.

Patricia Bates (R-73) tel(916)319-2073, fax(916) 319-2173
Area representing: Parts of North San Diego and South Orange counties including the cities of Oceanside, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

Gil Cedillo (D-46) tel(916) 319-2046, fax(916)319-2146
Areas representing: Part of Los Angeles county including central and downtown Los Angeles.

Ellen Corbett (D-18) tel(916)319-2018, fax(916) 319-2118
Area representing: Part of Alameda county including the cities of Castro Valley, Hayward, Pleasanton, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Sunol and Union City.

Lou Correa (D-69) tel(916)319-2069, fax(916) 319-2169
Area representing: Part of Orange county including the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove and Santa Ana.

Lynn Daucher (R-72) tel(916)319-2072 fax(916) 319-2172
Area representing: Part of Orange county including the cities of Anaheim Hills, Brea, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia and Yorba Linda.

Jackie Goldberg (D-45) tel(916)319-2045, fax(916) 319-2145
Area representing: Part of Los Angeles county including the city of Los Angeles.

Abel Maldonado (R-33) tel(916) 319-2033, fax(916)319-2133
Areas representing: San Luis Obispo County and parts of Santa Barbara County north of Gaviota Pass. Including the cities of Atascadero, Lompoc, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo.

Robert Pacheco (R-60) tel(916) 319-2060, fax(916)319-2160
Areas representing: Part of Los Angeles county including the cities of Industry, Covina, Diamond Bar, La Habra Heights, Pomona and Whittier.

Lou Papan (D-19) tel(916) 319-2019, fax (916)319-2119
Areas representing: North part of San Mateo County, including South San Francisco, San Bruno, Millbrae, Burlingame, Hillsborough, Pacifica, Colma, San Mateo and parts of Foster City and Daly City.

George Runner (R-36) tel(916) 319-2036, fax(916)319-2136
Areas representing: Part of Los Angeles county including the cities of Lancaster, Palmdale, and Santa Clarita.

Kevin Shelley (D-12) tel(916) 319-2012, fax(916) 319-2112
Areas representing: Western portion of San Francisco and part of San Mateo counties including the cities of San Francisco and Daly City.

Joe Simitian (D-21) tel(916) 319-2021, fax(916)319-2121
Areas representing: Parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties including the cities of Los Altos, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Redwood City.

Helen Thomson (D-8) tel(916)319-2008, fax(916)319-2108
Areas representing: All of Solano county except western Vallejo, most of Yolo County and the Delta region of Sacramento County including the citiers of Benicia, Davis, Dixon, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Vacaville, Vallejo, West Sacramento, Winters and Woodland.

Herb Wesson (D-47) tel(916) 319-2047, fax(916)319-2147
Areas representing: Part of the county of Los Angeles including the cities of Culver City, Century City, Baldwin Hills, Windsor Hills, and View Park areas of Los Angeles.

Roderick Wright (D-48) tel(916) 319-2048, fax(916)319-2148
Areas representing: Part of Los Angeles County including the area of South central Los Angeles.

Patricia Wiggins (D-7) tel(916) 319-2007, fax(916)319-2107
Areas representing: Napa County and parts of Sonoma and Solano counties including the cities of Napa, Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Vallejo.

Charlene Zettel (R-75) tel (916)319-2075, fax(916)319-2175
Areas representing: East part of San Diego County, including north San Diego, Lakeside, Santee, Poway, Ramona, and Borrego Springs region.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


The Outrage from the Department of Fish and Game Continues!

8/22/2001

Yesterday the Department of Fish and Game sent the following letter to the author of our bill, several of our co-authors and to Assemblymember Carole Migden.

"The Department of Fish and Game (Department) appreciates your interest in the issue of ferret legalization and your recognition of the need for a thorough environmental review prior to such legalization. As you know, the Fish and Game Commission in April 2000 indicated its willingness to consider ferret legalization upon the submission of such a report.

SB 1093 would appropriate $250,000 from the General Fund for the purpose of conducting the ferret environmental impact report (EIR). Although we support the preparation of an EIR, we believe it is inappropriate to use General Funds for this purpose. A more appropriate source of funding for this EIR is the ferret advocates and the pet industry that are pushing for legalization. This would ensure that the people most interested in ferret legalization, rather than the general taxpayers, fund this effort.

For this reason, the Department is opposed to your bill in its current form."

David Bunn
Director of Legislative Affairs

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This is absolutely outrageous and is designed to make sure that ferret legalization goes nowhere!

There is NO MONEY for such a study from ferret folks and they know this.

DFG also knows that the pet industry hasn't funded any of our bills in any way. They have never signed up an author, ferret supporters did that. They've never paid for mailings, we have! In fact, under amnesty they wouldn't have seen any change in their profit margin because ferrets wouldn't be sold here! DFG has continued to try to portray this bill as something it's not and it's up to you to show the Governor and your State Representatives that this isn't a question of profit but of basic fairness, and your right to choose your own domesticated companion animal!

I urge all of you to sit down TONIGHT and write a letter to both Governor Davis AND to both of your State Representatives letting them know that to hold owners or folks who want to own this gentle domesticated companion animal hostage to an expensive environmental study is WRONG. Ask your friends and neighbors to write as well. Even if you have written before, write again, NOW!

Let the Governor and your State Representatives know that ferret owners in this state should be decriminalized for doing something that is legal in every state on the continent! You MUST write these letters! Do not let this outrageous position go without comment.

I know there are some of you who don't think your letters count but they can and they do if you write them. There was a banking privacy bill by Senator Speier that was DOA in committee UNTIL the public wrote in about it and the bill was resurrected!!! Your letters count, but not if you just think about it or assume someone else will write. They only count if you write them!!!!

To write to the Governor, write to:

Governor Gray Davis
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

To write to your State Representative visit our website and click on "Know Your Local Representatives". Enter your zip code and you'll be told who represents you.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Ferret Freedom Biker's Route

8/20/2001


I spent half the day on Sunday driving our route from Antioch to Sacramento for the delivery of our ferret petitions on Wed. Sept. 5th to the Governor's Office. It's a really pretty route once you're out a ways from Antioch. The total route is 56 miles or so, more than I've done in training so far, but not as hilly as where I've been training on this side of the bay. We decided to shorten the route since we may have to do a press thing at about 11:00 or so. This means we're starting out literally at daylight, but we need to get there in time for anything that might be planned regarding the press.

Anyone wanting to join up is more than welcome! There are several towns along the route and below are guestimates (pretty good ones) regarding distances from Sacramento so you can bite of whatever you can handle. Keep in mind that we may be on a tight schedule (as I said, there may be a press conference scheduled for late morning) so we won't be able to slow down for stragglers. Two of my biking partners are triathletes but I'm not and I won't be on a road bike so I'll be the straggler in that group :). But the route is flat, so it shouldn't be too tough.

Here's the route:

We'll be staying the night in Antioch right off Hwy 4 and Somersville at the Best Western (3210 Delta Fair Blvd Tel/925 778-2000) because we'll probably start out around 6:00-6:30 A.M. That's before the chickens get up but if we do a news thing at the capitol we've got to be there early, and we'll beat the heat this way too!

From Antioch we'll catch Hwy 160 (this is a small two lane road with virtually no shoulder but very little traffic, at least on Sunday) and go over the Antioch bridge. Pass the bridge to Rio Vista, do not go to Rio Vista but continue on 160 to Isleton. Isleton is approximately 33 miles from Sacramento.

The next town is Walnut Grove which is about 25 miles outside Sacramento. If you go left there, you're on River Road (actually 160 seems to go on both sides of the river for a while. It's really pretty and easy riding. About 20 miles out is the town of Courtland.

The next town is Hood which is 17 miles from Sacramento and beyond that is Freeport which is about 9 or 10 miles from the Capitol. Following 160 all the way into the city, Hwy 160 turns into 16th street. Once on 16th street we make a left on L street and we're there!

We are over 30,000 signatures now. Please send yours so that they arrive by August 30th which will give me time to count and organize them.

Thanks for a great job.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Ferret Store Mails Petitions to California! Two Biologists Aid our Effort

7/12/2001

Hello everyone,

I just received a message from Joe Palko at The Ferret Store that they have mailed our California petitions to close to 3,500 ferret supporters in California urging everyone to get involved. They should reach California sometime next week.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to The Ferret Store for this mailing. The printing and mailing of this petition was at their own expense (and mailings are expensive, I know) and it is our hope that this reaches Californians who may not yet be involved with the legalization effort. Thank you Scott and Joe. It's one way the owners of The Ferret Store have shown they care about this issue-- now it's up to those of you who are directly affected by this ridiculous ban to do your part!

It's clear that Governor Davis had a direct hand in the gutting of our ferret bill. The head of Fish and Game doesn't call members unless he gets the OK from the Governor. That's why this petition drive is still very important and we should all redouble our efforts to get at least 100 signatures by August 15th-- we may have a little longer, we just don't know that yet so consider August 15th your deadline.

I want to also thank Joe from CA (secretweasel) who was responsible for getting the ball rolling on this idea. Thanks Joe!

Should you want to thank Joe and Scott of The Ferret Store personally, their e-mail addresses are below:

Joe Palko joep@neeps-inc.com

Scott Sanfilippo scotts@neeps-inc.com

On another note, two wildlife biologists wrote letters or documents that were used with this committee. Bob Church allowed us to use a very strong piece he has written for eventual publication, Ferret White Lies, and Scott Sinclair of CA wrote a very powerful letter debunking DFG arguments. Our author's office was impressed with both of them but, as we saw on July 10th, science had nothing to do with the outcome. Thanks Bob and Scott, you both did a terrific job and I just wish facts mattered here.

Again, that's why Californians have to become more active. Facts don't matter, only you, the voter, matter in this effort. If you're silent, we'll get nowhere, if you speak up, we have a chance. If this week's vote didn't communicate that to you I suppose nothing will.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Signatures for the Governor

7/11/2001

Hello everyone,

Please continue to collect signatures for the Governor. We still do not know what final form this bill will take and even if we pull the bill, the Governor should know that there are many people out there that believe this law is absurd and should change.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee Guts Ferret Bill

7/10/2001

Hello everyone,

It soon became very clear that the members of the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee had been pressured by the administration, and the Chairman of this committee to not pass our ferret amnesty bill. Members we thought supportive, and who had been supportive in the past, made it clear that they would not pass an amnesty bill without an Environmental Document being produced first, and our bill was gutted completely to simply include money for an environmental document (EIR) to study the ferret's potential to harm the environment. At this point, that means no amnesty for ferrets in California.

Never mind that a study's already been done, never mind that no other state has required such a study, or experienced such angst over ferrets. California is, indeed, different and facts don't matter here, nor does fairness, only politics. At this point, I don't know if we will go forward with this bill. No other state has required an EIR before legalizing this domesticated pet which is safer to people than a dog and safer to the environment than a cat, and agreeing to an EIR may set a precedent that is both dangerous and unwarranted. It may be better in the long run to drop this bill and start anew.

On the other hand, if we can secure a moratorium on enforcement during the study it may be something worth considering. We will not accept the use of live ferrets as part of any study and will insist on a neutral 3rd party conducting any such study should we decide it's in our interests to go forward. I know many of you will have questions but I'm afraid I won't have any answers for you at this time so please don't waste your time and mine and hold off with your e-mails for the time being.

If your Assemblymember is on this committee and you wish to respectfully express your dissatisfaction with today's events that's fine, as long as you do so politely. Remember, the composition of this committee (the members that sit on it) will not change for quite some time. If you choose to call or write, simply state that you are very disappointed with the vote on this bill, that this issue has to do with one thing: the fact that a domesticated pet which is safer to the environment and people than a dog or cat and is legal in the rest of the country is in a wildlife list where it does not belong.

DO NOT CALL ANYONE THAT DOES NOT REPRESENT YOU AND DO NOT BE RUDE OR AGGRESSIVE!

This turn of events is very disheartening and I know that many of you wrote to your representatives on this committee but I'm afraid that not enough of you participated to offset the political pressure exerted by the administration and other opponents.

To those Californians who did not write for one reason or another (too little time, too afraid, etc.), this is your reality check. You have helped cost this issue one of it's best chances in years to move ahead as an amnesty bill. I know that many of the folks I'm addressing aren't on this e-mail list but the message to all of you who only have observed and not participated is the same: your lack of silence meant that your representative listened to those opposed to this issue and not to you.

What a shame.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Thank You's For Helping Our Efforts in California!

6/24/2001

Hello everyone,

I want to thank Modern Ferret Magazine for supporting our efforts here in California. In issue 32, Modern Ferret Magazine has included our Wanted Poster for their readers for the second time! For those of you who don't publish a magazine, that means giving up valuable advertising space in order to help protect up to 500,000 ferrets living underground in fear of confiscation and possible euthanasia. Mary and Eric have again donated this space in spite of a very tough year and that's not the end of the story. It's my understanding that Modern Ferret has sent Ferrets Anonymous close to 50 issues each month for years. The heartwarming stories, articles on health and nutrition, domestication and other topics, have helped to educated the public, lawmakers, and people working in the humane field in a state where few have had the opportunity to meet one of these darling little creatures.

Californians for Ferret Legalization was also given dozens of copies of Modern Ferret over the years and most recently the very well-written and touching story of Rocky and his owner, Sean, the autistic child, in issue #29. If you haven't seen this edition, it is one of the most poignant stories of the human/animal bond that I've ever read. Copies of this edition are being sent to each of the members of the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. I don't know how anyone can read this story and not acknowledge the true nature of the ferret as a domesticated companion animal. CFL and Ferrets Anonymous contact information has also appeared in most editions of Modern Ferret magazine which is essential to those new to the ferret issue and unsure how to become involved to whom to contact. It's also invaluable information to anyone moving here from out of state with questions or concerns.

Modern Ferret Magazine has been there for Californians each and every year of this very, very long battle. On behalf of all Californians, I want to extend the most heartfelt thank you to both Mary and Eric for their support. I know what it means to donate time and effort to a cause---and to try to keep a small business afloat at the same time! Believe me, it's a real sacrifice and I hope all of you appreciate the contribution of Mary, Eric, and Modern Ferret to our success because all of us, not just Californians, owe them a debt of gratitude.

I also want to thank Fancy Publications for their inclusion of our Wanted Poster in the July/August issue of Ferrets Magazine. Again, this space was donated for a second time and is very much appreciated. Ferrets has a new and old editor this year-- June Kikuchi, who was the editor when Ferrets was launched so many years ago. Welcome back, June!

In the current edition of Ferrets, California readers can find the name of their State Assemblymember, the area that he/she represents, his/her past ferret voting history and how to contact these representatives. There is also information on how to contact Californians for Ferret Legalization as well as how to use our webpage to locate important information specific to the user on our Know Your Local Represenative page.

Not only can any Californian can use this edition to become fully involved with the effort here, those from out of state with family in California can easily find the name and contact information of their family's representative for them. The exposure and information is this article invaluable. Thank you June and the publishers of Ferrets!

We have many people and organizations helping our fight to change the law in California, and all of them deserve praise for lending a hand to our efforts. This is by no means an exhaustive thank you list, but I wanted to take a moment to highlight both Mary and Eric of Modern Ferret , and Fancy Publications. Our Wanted Poster, and therefore our fight to decriminalize ferret ownership in California, is receiving terrific distribution and exposure in California because of them.

On behalf of all Californians and the following organizations, you have our gratitude.

Ferrets Anonymous, Golden State Ferret Society, LOS California, Capitol City Ferret Club, California Domestic Ferret Association.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Petition News!

6/15/2001

Hello all,

Below is a terrific e-mail I received from one our our members. I thought it would be a good idea to send it to you to help you realize that getting signatures for our effort is not that difficult, can even be fun if you work with a friend, and, most importantly, is going to be essential to the success of our bill.

Please use this summer (until August 1st) to get as many signatures on our petitions as possible. You can download a copy of the petition from our website at www.ferretnews.org.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Jeanne,

I have really GREAT news for you...

The petition is generating a ton of signers here in our area. There are only 100,000 people in our three county area and in the space of TWO days (operating from noon to 5) ,thanks to a local petshop owner who let us set up a info table outside the storefront (in a local mall), 2 of us collected over 400 signatures and you know what? FIRST: It was easy and I think that we can generate several thousand sigs before we have to turn the petitions in. SECOND: I would say that over 75% of the signers either had, have had or know someone that does have a fuzzy. I am stunned by that. I knew that there were a lot of fuzzies in the State, but if this kind of stat holds true statewide, then there are way more fuzzy owners out there than we ever imagined. And if 20% of all ferret food sold in the U.S. is purchased in California, then we know for sure.

Back to the petition...please pass along to our fellow fuzzy advocates...get out there...the signatures are there and waiting and I would say that 95% of the people approached are friendly and not hostile to the issue at hand. Get hold of your local pet store or ferret friendly vet and ask them if you can set up a table for a day or two. Also get hold of businesses like PetCO and K-Mart and WalMart. They all sell fuzzy supplies and should let you set up a small table outside. I believe it is up to the individual store managers!

We have stuffed plush ferrets, magazines showing ferrets with children (Modern Ferret and Ferret Mag), a video from Shepard and Green (home videos of fuzzies playing and cavorting would be good too!) and a pile of petitions...running two clipboards at a time. We also made a large 2'X4' white poster board (eraseable marker type) and wrote FERRET FACTS in large simple print that everyone walking by could read. The word NOT was underlined in double RED! Here were the simple statements:

Domestic Ferrets are NOT wild animals

Domestic Ferrets are NOT a threat to the enviroment

Domestic Ferrets are NOT a threat to human health

Domestic Ferrets are NOT a threat to agriculture (OK, they do like raisins!)

Please ask for more info...

That helped draw in folks including a few wildlife biology students from a local "green" State University. There were impressed by the documentation available to counter unsubstantiated, but widely held opinions. AND were swayed (youth is so impressionable) to sign before they left...one even took a petition and promised to fill it up!

Bottom line...this petition campaign is easy to undertake and I feel that if everyone of us that has or is interested in having a fuzzy gets involved, 100 sigs/person is a very easily obtainable goal.

Cmon you pet lovers out there...LETS GO!!! We can do this!!! Fill up those pages!!! Personally, I would like to see 100,000 signatures hit Gov. Davis' desk !!! Wouldn't you??

putorius

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Victory on the Senate Floor!

6/10/2001

For the first time in history, a ferret bill has passed the Calfornia Senate. The vote was 26-4, with 10 members not-voting.

With two history-making votes in one week, this is cause for celebration, but not for relaxation. SB1093 now moves to the California Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee and hearings could begin as soon as next week. If you haven't contacted your assemblymember, please write them now! Californians can find out who their Assemblymember by visiting our webpage at http://www.ferretnews.org and going to the section called Legislators - Know your local California Representatives. If your Assemblymember is on the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee, please write them today! All Californians should write a polite, positive letter to the Committee Chair, Assemblymember Dean Florez.

All Californians should also write to Governor Gray Davis at the Governor's Office, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. Let him know this issue is important to you. Have your friends and family write him, too. And don't forget to help collect signatures on those petitions!

We have momentum on our side, let's take advantage of it!

Joe Ferret
Californians for Ferret Legalization
secretweasel_2000@yahoo.com
http://Beach_Boyz.go.cc
http://ferrets.go.cc


Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee

6/1/2001

Our next hearing is the in front of the Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee and may come as early as June 19th. We have to pass the Senate floor first (PLEASE WRITE YOUR STATE SENATOR RIGHT NOW IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY!!!-- GO TO OUR WEBSITE WWW.FERRETNEWS.ORG TO FIND OUT WHO REPRESENTS YOU.) I'm sending this out in advance of our Senate floor vote because I will be out of town for a little while and this committee will be our toughest committee so I need all of you to participate by contacting your Assemblymember, especially if he or she is on this committee. There are quite a number of new members on this committee and they need to hear from their constituents. Please check to see if you are in one of these districts and contact the appropriate Assemblymember if you are!

Californians, remember, you must reside in the district for your letter have any impact on the decision of the members listed below. Please do NOT write if you do not live in the district. It will only hurt our issue if you do. The only exception is the Chair, Assemblymember Florez.

When you do write, be sure to include your name and address on all correspondence, including e-mails, otherwise your letter or e-mail will not be counted!

If your Assemblymember is listed below, simply write Assemblymember followed by their name and this address: State Capitol, Sacramento, CA, 95814. You will also find their ferret voting history listed and if they supported legalization in the past, please thank them for their support. If they voted against legalization, or are a new member, please urge them to decriminalize ferret ownership for these reasons (and please, please always be polite!!!):

1.) Ferrets are domesticated animals and therefore do not belong in the hands of a wildlife agency.

2.) Ferrets are legal in the rest of the contiguous 48 states.

3.) Ferrets are a safer pet to people and the environment than either a cat or a dog. All 50 states report no feral ferrets ever in their states.

4.) The law is not working (tell them to visit a pet store and look at the ferret items on the shelf) and when a law is not working there is usually something very wrong with it.

5.) This tiny step does not increase the numbers of ferrets in California but simply decriminalizes current owners and recognizes the fact that the law is not working.

All Californians should also write to their individual Assemblymember. To find out the name of your Assemblymember, Californians can visit our webpage at http://www.ferretnews.org and go to the section called Legislators - Know your local California Representatives. Follow instructions for the Assembly representatives.

All Californians should also write to our Governor, Gray Davis at: Governor Gray Davis, Governor's Office, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814 to let him know CA citizens have been seriously wronged by the Department of Fish and Game where ferrets are concerned.

Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee Members

Dean Florez Chair (D-30) Tel (916) 319-2030, Fax (916) 319-2130
Areas representing: Southwestern part of the San Joaquin Valley including all of Kings County and parts of Fresno, Kern and Madera counties, including the cities of Bakersfield, coalinga, Fresno, Hanford, Taft, and Lemoore.
Ferret voting history: voted no last session. Please ask this member to reconsider and support SB 1093.

Dick Dickerson Vice Chair (R-2) Tel (916) 319-2002, Fax (916) 319-2102
Area representing: Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Trinity, Colusa, Sutter, NE Yolo and Southern tip of Butte Counties, including the cities of orland, Red Bluff, Redding, Weed and Yuba City.
Ferret voting history: voted no last session. Please ask this member to reconsider and support SB 1093.

Sam Aanestad (R-3) tel (916)319-2003, fax (916)319-2103
Areas representing: Modoc, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Nevada and Yuba counties and most of Butte County including the cities of Alturas, Chico, Nevada City, Grass Valley, Loyalton, Marysville, Oroville, Susanville and Truckee.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support.

Dion Aroner (D-14) tel(916)319-2014, fax(916)319-2114
Area representing: Alameda & Contra Costa Counties including the cities of Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond and San Pablo.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to continue her support.

Thomas M. Calderon (D-58) tel(916) 319-2058, fax(916) 319-2158
Areas representing: Southeast portion of Los Angeles county, including cities of Santa Fe Springs, S. El Monte, Montebello, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Whittier & Los Nietos.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support.

Dario Frommer (D-43) tel(916)319-2043, fax(916) 319-2143
Area representing: Part of Los Angeles county including the cities of Burbank, Glendale and Los Angeles.
Ferret voting history: new member. Please ask this member to support amnesty for ferret owners by voting yes on SB 1093.

Jackie Goldberg (D-45) tel(916)319-2045, fax(916) 319-2145
Area representing: Part of Los Angeles county including the city of Los Angeles.
Ferret voting history: new member. Please ask this member to support amnesty for ferret owners by voting yes on SB 1093.

Dennis Hollingsworth (R-66) tel(916)319-2066, fax(916) 319-2166
Area representing: Part of Riverside and San Diego counties including the cities of Corona, Fallbrook, Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Murrieta, Sun City, and Temecula.
Ferret voting history: new member. Please ask this member to support amnesty for ferret owners by voting yes on SB 1093.

Christine Kehoe (D-76) tel(916) 319-2076, fax(916) 319-2176
Areas representing: Part of the county of San Diego including the city of San Diego.
Ferret voting history: new member. Please ask this member to support amnesty for ferret owners by voting yes on SB 1093.

David Kelley (R-80) tel(916) 319-2080, fax(916) 319-2180
Areas representing: Imperial and part of Riverside counties including the cities of Bermuda Dunes, Blythe, Brawley, Calexico, Coachella, El Centro, Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage.
Ferret voting history: new member. Please ask this member to support ferret amnesty by voting yes on SB 1093.

Tim Leslie (R-4) tel(916) 319-2004, fax(916)319-2104
Areas representing: Counties of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mono & Placer, including the cities of auburn, Placerville, Roseville, and South Lake Tahoe.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support.

Carol Liu (D-44) tel(916) 319-2044, fax(916)319-2144
Areas representing: Part of the county of Los Angeles including the cities of Altadena, Eagle Rock, Glendale, La Canada, La Crescenta, Montrose, Pasadena, San Marion, Sunland, Temple City, and Tujunga.
Ferret voting history: new member. Please ask this member to support amnesty for ferret owners by voting yes on SB 1093.

Fran Pavley (D-41) tel(916)319-2041, fax (916)319-2141
Areas representing: Part of Los Angeles county including the cities of Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Malibu, Santa Monica, Tarzana and Woodland Hills.
Ferret voting history: new member. Please ask this member to support ferret amnesty by voting yes on SB 1093.

Helen Thomson (D-8) tel(916)319-2008, fax(916)319-2108
Areas representing: All of Solano county except western Vallejo, most of Yolo County and the Delta region of Sacramento County including the citiers of Benicia, Davis, Dixon, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Vacaville, Vallejo, West Sacramento, Winters and Woodland.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to continue her support.

Phil Wyman (R-34) tel(916) 319-2034, fax(916)319-2134
Areas representing: Inyo and parts of Kern and San Bernardino counties including the cities of Apple Valley, Barstow, Bishop, Hesperia, Ridgecrest, Tehachapi and Victorville.
Ferret voting history: new member. Please ask this member to support ferret amnesty by voting yes on SB 1093.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Important Ferret Information and Arguments

6/1/2001

Our lobbyist and PR consultant asked me to address two questions that are sometimes asked about the ferret issue. This information may be useful to you with regard to members of the legislature or the press-- many of you might not know that of the 8 states to legalize ferrets since 1985, six did so through legislative action!

Why the Department of Fish and Game Should Not Regulate Ferrets

Fortunately for the cat, the legislative intent behind the creation of the Department of Fish and Game did not foresee agency regulation, let alone prohibition, of domesticated pets. Otherwise, these adept hunters would find themselves on the other side of the law in California. In fact, the dog, horse, goat, pig, sheep, rabbit and burro might well join the cat as furry fugitives. Why? Because all of these domesticated pets are able to survive and multiply in the wild according to the 1993 United States Congressional report, Harmful Non-Indigenous Species in the United States.

Like the animals listed above, the ferret is also a domesticated pet. It is classified as domesticated by the United States Department of Agriculture, Smithsonian Institute, Museum of Natural History, the Humane Society of the United States and 150 zoos, zoological societies and other authorities. Unlike the domesticated pets listed above, the ferret does not survive and multiply in the wild. This fact was substantiated by the California Department of Fish and Game�s own 1996-97 Nationwide Ferret Survey of State Wildlife Agencies. The intent of this survey was to aid in �assessing environmental concerns relating to proposed legalization of ferrets as pets.� The good news: no breeding ferrets were documented at any time, now or in the past, by any state wildlife agency in the entire country. This gives the ferret a stellar record with regard to the environment, one that other domesticated pets don�t share.

These reasons alone should be enough to justify removing a domesticated pet from the grasp of a wildlife agency, but there are other compelling reasons as well. There are 500,000 illegal ferrets already here in California according to a 1989 estimate by the Department of Fish and Game. While the Department may now argue about their earlier estimate, the 12 foot long ferret product aisles in pet stores throughout California are inarguable evidence of a large number of people needing ferret supplies. Twenty percent of all ferret food sold nationally is sold in California and the largest consumer ferret magazine sells more copies in California than in any other state. In spite of the large numbers of ferrets in California, the Department of Fish and Game acknowledged in it�s own survey that no breeding populations of ferrets have ever been documented in the wild at any time in this state.

As an amnesty bill, SB 1093 represents a tiny step for the state. It won�t affect the numbers of ferrets in California, it simply recognizes the reality of the hundreds of thousands already here. SB 1093 requires that the ferrets given amnesty be spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies-both good measures and sound policy. But this small step is just too much for the Department of Fish and Game to even consider. They prefer the status quo to acknowledging a failed policy.

When a law is unreasonable, it is widely disobeyed, and therefore difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. Sporadic enforcement keeps ferret owners frightened and angry, but it accomplishes little else except to drive these owners and their animals underground. A full-blown ferret enforcement effort would not only be financially prohibitive to the Department, it would also be political suicide and the Department knows it. The Department may also know that the best way to get rid of a bad law is to aggressively enforce it.

Why the Legislature Should Address The Ferret Issue

Prior to 1985, ferrets were legal in 40 states. In fact, in most of these states, they never were illegal. Since 1985, eight states have legalized ferrets bringing the total to 48. In six of these states, legalization was accomplished through legislative action (page 5 1996-97 Nationwide Ferret Survey of State Wildlife Agencies). In one state, a court decision affirmed the ferret�s status as domesticated and therefore outside the mandate of the state wildlife agency, and in the other, ferrets were legalized by a pro-active state wildlife agency.

During this entire time, from the late 1980�s to the present, the California Department of Fish and Game not only remained resolute in its hard line opposition to ferret legalization, but has been an active promulgator of ferret misinformation. So in 1994, when AB 2497 (California�s first ferret bill) was introduced, it faced a wide array of opposition from farm, waterfowl and environmental organizations and failed to pass the Assembly floor. None of the bills in any of the other states generated such controversy. In fact, few had opposition of any kind. Significantly, none of these bills were opposed by their respective wildlife agencies.

In November of 1995, ferret proponents asked the California Fish and Game Commission to remove the domesticated ferret from the restrictive wildlife list. Based on the information provided by proponents, the Fish and Game Commission voted to go to public notice and consider the request. The Department of Fish and Game then advised the Commission that an environmental study would need to be completed prior to a Commission regulatory action and suggested that ferret legalization advocates be required to pay for the study. The Commission president instead directed the department to conduct the study. The resulting study consists of two documents: the 1996-97 Nationwide Ferret Survey of State Wildlife Agencies and a ferret bibliography compiled by Whisson and Moore,1997.

In the meantime, the Fish and Game Commission�s legal counsel informed the Commission that it �did not have the authority to adopt regulations to remove restrictions on ferrets, so legalization of ferrets was a legislative matter� (Page 2 1996-97 Nationwide Ferret Survey of State Wildlife Agencies). This opinion was eventually ruled incorrect by Superior Court Judge Judith McConnell and incredibly the Commission was advised by counsel to appeal this decision- the equivalent of winning an election then demanding a recount. The appeal was unsuccessful.

On April 6, 2000, armed with the legal authority to address the ferret issue (however against their wishes), a new Fish and Game Commission contradicted the earlier Commission by requiring ferret legalization proponents to hire an environmental consultant to do a new study at an estimated cost of $100,000 prior to even considering a vote to go to public notice. This is a grass-roots effort, with no profit channel. Even if ferret owners were bankrolled by the latest lottery winner, why would they pay $100,000 for the possibility of a hearing by a Commission so unlikely to help them legalize their pets? Clearly, this avenue is closed to advocates of ferret legalization. The rules change constantly, the ante is too high, and the odds are definitely not in favor of a fair hearing.

California�s legislature can and should address the ferret issue. It�s comes as no surprise that the Department and Commission feel otherwise. Since 1985, ferrets have been legalized by legislative action in the following six states: Pennsylvania, 1987, Vermont, 1989, Georgia, 1991, New Hampshire, 1993, Michigan,1994, Massachusetts, 1995. California�s legislature can and should do the same.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


We've passed the Appropriations Committee and Now Go to the Senate Floor

6/1/2001

Terrific news! We've passed the Appropriations Committee by a vote of 7-3. And the best news is that the study and the funding for the study have been removed!!!! This bill just grandfather's in the ferrets here already without the study provision. The study would have spent money on this issue and that's always a problem, especially with the current energy crisis. This will really help us in the long run. I don't know at this point if there were any other changes made to the bill but you can see the amendments in a few days by visiting http://www.senate.ca.gov and doing a search on SB 1093.

We now go to the Senate floor. You must contact your State Senator if you haven't already ASAP if you are going to have an impact on this year's bill. Our bill will be heard on or before June 8th in the Senate so if you have not contacted your State Senator, please do so now.

You can find out who that is by visiting the Californians for Ferret Legalization webpage at www.ferretnews.org and clicking on "Know your local representative". All you have to do then is to type in your zip code and you will be told who represents you in the State Capitol.

The study has been removed!!!! This is great news for our bill.

Our vote was close unless there were votes that came in late. There were three no votes, Senator Kevin Murray, Ross Johnson and Marta Escutia. Senator Escutia wasn't a surprise but the other two senators had voted in favor in the past so I'm not sure if they objected to the ammendment removing the study or if there was something else. In any case, constuents are encouraged to contact these Senators and politely ask about their votes. PLEASE NOTE, CONSTITUENTS ONLY. DO NOT CONTACT THESE REPRESESENTATIVES IF YOU DO NOT LIVE IN THEIR DISTRICTS!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Californians for Ferret Legalization Stamp Drive

5/3/2001

We will be mailing to the balance of the Senate as soon as we come off the suspense list (volunteers are coming over on May 12th). That mailing will be just over 1,100 letters to our members. Shortly after that we will be doing the largest mailing to date, to the Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee. I'm estimating that will be well over 2,000 pieces, perhaps as large as 3,000 which would cost us over 1,000 in stamps alone!

If you can spare some first class stamps, we'd really appreciate it. Other costs include photocopying (my father donated the envelopes this time around, thanks Dad) and our lobbyist in Sacramento whose advice has been invaluable.

Thanks in advance.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


SB1093 In Appropriations

5/1/2001

Over 110 bills were heard yesterday in the Senate Appropriations Committee. About 100 of them went on suspense because the cost of the bills were in excess of 50,000 or so. That automatically qualifies a bill for the suspense file so that's where our bill, and the other 109, went. BUT, unlike the past chair of this Committee (Senator Patrick Johnston), the current chair (Senator Dede Alpert) is in support of this bill In fact, Senator Alpert is a co-author, so our bill will come off the suspense file late next month and be voted on. We believe that we do have the votes to pass this committee so our bill should proceed to the Senate floor after that.

Testimony in support of the bill came from Californians for Ferret Legalization, the California Veterinary Medical Association and the Pet Industries Joint Advisory Committee. We testified that the 200,000 plus estimate for the study by the Department of Fish and Game was wildly inflated since they'd already done a study. We also pointed out that contrary to DFG comments that enforcement would be higher, they'd actually be lower since the majority of the ferrets here would now be legal. DFG testified against the bill saying that the study they already performed didn't cover the same subject matter-- are they joking???? That's a pretty incredible statement. What, did they screw up???? Actually you almost, and I do say almost, had to feel sorry for the DFG person. The comments from the members of the Committee made the department look pretty ridiculous which is a strong signal that the legislature is strongly behind our issue. Please make sure that you have written to your State Senator!!!!

BUT MAKE NO MISTAKE. THE GOVERNOR IS GOING TO BE A PROBLEM!

The only negative sign was the fact that the Department of Finance was allowed by the Governor to oppose our bill even though it's price tag was considerably lower than most of the bills heard that day, several of which that had costs in excess of one million dollars and more. This is just one more signal that the Governor is inclined (at this point anyway) to veto our bill. This is why you all MUST work hard, all the way through July, to collect thousands and thousands of signatures so that we can help show the Governor that he's been misled by the Department of Fish and Game on this issue. Please, don't let our best opportunity in the legislature be wasted because you didn't spend a few hours on a few weekends in front of a pet store or supermarket collecting signatures.

Go to our website and download and print several copies of the petition. Leave a copy or two at your vet's office. You can also ask to work with your local humane association if they are interested in helping. In any case, please plan to spend a few hours over several weekends (the weather's terrific, there's no excuse!) at a large mall, supermarket or pet store. You should be able to fill pages and pages of petitions because when Californians realize that ferrets are legal in every other state on the continent, they know something is very, very wrong here.

Please, all of you must commit to collecting at least 100 signatures if we are to have any impact at all on the Governor.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Where and When to Send Petitions

4/28/2001

Each petition has the address below (CFL's address) printed on it and that's where you should send the petitions. They should arrive on or before August 1st so we can deliver them to the Governor's Office en masse.

I hope that each of you can gather a minimum of 100 signatures-- many folks have committed to getting more than that which is great! But this is what it will take to convince the Governor that the Department of Fish and Game is wrong to criminalize people for choosing the safest domesticated pet to both people and the environment!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


URGENT LETTER TO FERRET ACTIVISTS FROM FLOYD CARLEY

4/27/2001

URGENT

We believe that SB 1093, a ferret amnesty bill, will pass both branches of the legislature and will go to the governor for his signature. There are indications that the governor might veto this bill. However, we believe that if there are enough voter signatures on petitions he will sign the bill.

This most likely will be our last, and is certainly our best, chance to get a ferret bill signed into law.

Realistically, there is no tomorrow. This is it. We must present the governor with a pile of petitions of Himalayan proportions.

We are asking every ferret activist to make it a personal goal to get 100 signatures (five petition sheets). Ask your friends, neighbors, relatives and office workers to sign. Ask every vet and pet store to help us with this effort. Every large gathering should be considered as an opportunity to collect signatures.

We have been working since 1994 for this opportunity. It will not come again for a very long time-if ever. Let us seize the moment. Whatever happens, let it be said that we all did our utmost.

You can get copies of the petition by downloading the pdf file on the Californians for Ferret Legalization website.

Thrice armed is he who fights with just cause.

Floyd Carley
3000 Sand Hill Road, 4-145
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Tel/650 854-7784
Fax/650 854-0213

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Appropriations Committee Hearing Scheduled

4/22/2001

Our next hearing is the in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 30, 2001.

Californians, remember, you must reside in the district for your letter have any impact on the decision of the members listed below. Please do NOT write if you do not live in the district. It will only hurt our issue if you do. The only exception is the Chair, Senator Alpert. Anyone who wishes to thank her for her co-authorship and support is welcome to do so.

When you do write, be sure to include your name and address on all correspondence, including e-mails, otherwise your letter or e-mail will not be counted! You will find e-mail addresses below, but do not e-mail any Senator that does not represent you. That will only hurt our efforts.

If your State Senator is listed below, simply write Senator followed by their name and this address: State Capitol, Sacramento, CA, 95814. You will also find their ferret voting history listed and if they supported legalization in the past, please thank them for their support. If they voted against legalization, or are a new member, please urge them to decriminalize ferret ownership for these reasons (and please, please always be polite!!!):

1.) Ferrets are domesticated animals and therefore do not belong in the hands of a wildlife agency.

2.) Ferrets are legal in the rest of the contiguous 48 states.

3.) Ferrets are a safer pet to people and the environment than either a cat or a dog. All 50 states report no feral ferrets ever in their states.

4.) The law is not working (tell them to visit a pet store and look at the ferret items on the shelf) and when a law is not working there is usually something very wrong with it.

5.) This tiny step does not increase the numbers of ferrets in California but simply decriminalizes current owners and recognizes the fact that the law is not working.

All Californians should also write to their individual State Senators. To find out the name of your State Senator, Californians can visit our webpage and go to the section called legislators/Know your Representatives. Follow instructions for the Senate representatives.

All Californians should also write to our Governor, Gray Davis at: Governor Gray Davis, Governor's Office, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814 to let him know CA citizens have been seriously wronged by the Department of Fish and Game where ferrets are concerned.

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE

Dede Alpert (D-39) Chair Co-author email: senator.alpert@sen.ca.gov
Area representing: Includes the city of San Diego. Extends from La Jolla and Rancho Penasquitos to Imperial Beach and east to El Cajon.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank Senator Alpert for co-authoring SB 1093 and encourage her to help us pass our bill this year.

Jim Battin (R-37) Vice-Chair Co-author (916) 445-5581 email: senator.battin@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Rural San Diego County, all of Imperial County and eastern Riverside County and includes the northern part of the city of San Diego, Santee, Poway, Ramona, Hemet, Blythe, El Cajon, Coachella, and Palm Springs.
Ferret voting history: supported our bill. Please thank Senator Battin for co-authoring SB 1093 and encourage him to help us pass our bill this year.

Debra Bowen (D-28) Tel(916)445-5953 email: senator.bowen@sen.ca.gov
Area representing: Southwest Los Angeles coastline including the cities of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance and Carson.
Ferret voting history: supported our bill. Please thank Senator Bowen for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator John Burton (D-3) Tel(916) 445-1412 email senator.burton@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Marin County, part of Sonoma county and the eastern portion of San Francisco including the cities of San Rafael, Novato, and Petaluma.
Ferret voting history: has not had the opportunity to vote on this bill. Please ask Senator Burton to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Martha Escutia (D-30) Tel(916) 327-8315 email: senator.escutia@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Central Los Angeles County containing the cities of Whittier, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Norwalk and southeast Los Angeles.
Ferret voting history: voted no while in Assembly. Please ask Senator Escutia to reconsider and vote for SB 1093 this year.

Maurice Johannessen Author (R-4) email: senator.johannesses@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: All of the counties of Siskiyou, Trinity, Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Colusa, Sutter, Yolo and Solano (except for the city of Vallejo), and parts of Butte and Sacramento counties.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session, is now authoring our bill. Please thank Senator Johannessen for authoring SB 1093.

Senator Ross Johnson (R-35) Tel(916)445-4961 email: senator.johnson@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Coastal Orange County including the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Cypress, La Palma, Rossmoor, Seal Beach and Tustin.
Ferret voting history: has not had the opportunity to vote on this issue but has pledged his support. Please thank Senator Johnson for his support and ask him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Betty Karnette (D-27) Tel(916) 445-6447 fax(916)327-9113 email: senator.karnette@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: The Palos Verdes Peninsula communities, Avalon, San Pedro and most of Long Beach, Signal Hill and the southwest cities of Lakewood, Cerritos, Bellflower, Downey, Artesia and Hawaiian Gardens.
Ferret voting history: has not had the opportunity to vote on this issue but has pledged her support. Please thank Senator Karnette for her support and ask her to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Bruce McPherson (R-15) Tel (916)445-5843 email: senator.mcpherson@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: A coastal district below the San Francisco Bay area that includes all of Monterey, Santa cruz and San Benito counties, as well as the more rural southern portions of Santa Clara County.
Ferret voting history: has not had the opportunity to vote on this issue but has pledged his support. Please ask Senator McPherson to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Kevin Murray (D-26) Tel (916)445-8800 email: senator.murray@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Part of Los Angeles county including the cities of Los Angeles and Culver city.
Ferret voting history: voted yes while in the Assembly. Please thank Senator Murray for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Don Perata (D-9) Tel (916) 445-6577 email: senator.perata@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Oakland, Richmond, San Pablo, El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, Alameda, Emeryville, El Sobrante, Piedmont, Kensington, Pinole and Bayview.
Ferret voting history: voted yes while in the Assembly. Please thank Senator Perata for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Charles Poochigian (D-14) Tel (916) 445-6577
Areas representing: Part of Fresno and Kern and Tulare counties including the cities of Bakersfield, Fresno, Lake Isabella, Porterville and Visalia.
Ferret voting history: voted no while in the Assembly. Please ask Senator Poochigian to reconsider and vote for SB 1093 this year.

Senator Jackie Speier (D-8) Tel (916) 445-0503 email: senator.speier@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Part of San Francisco county including the cities of Burlingame, Daly City, Pacifica, San Bruno, San francisco, San Mateo and south San Francisco.
Ferret voting history: voted yes while in the Assembly. Please thank Senator Speier for supporting ferret legalization in the past and ask for her continued support.

Californians, it's time to get busy! Our bill has always died in the Senate and you must be prepared to work that much harder now. Don't forget to get all of your friends and family members writing as well. Ask the members of this committee to look at this issue fairly and not be misled-- Ferrets Do Not Survive in the Wild Anywhere in the United States. They are a great pet from an environmental point of view, far better than a cat or just about any other pet (goldfish excepted but how can you cuddle one of those?).

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


SB 1093 Passes SNR Committee

4/3/2001

Last night SB 1093 passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee by a 7-0 vote.

Testifying in support of the bill in addition to Californians for Ferret Legalization: The California Veterinary Medical Association, Fund For Animals, and Pet Industries Joint Advisory Council.

Testifying against the measure: The Department of Fish and Game, California Audubon and California Waterfowl.

From here our bill goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee. As soon as I know a hearing date I will pass that along to you and will also provide you with a list of the members and their ferret voting history. Again, please do not write to members that do not represent you.

In addition, I will not be providing e-mail addresses in the future, but rather telephone numbers instead. E-mail is not effective and can be counter productive. Letters are preferable, but even phone calls are better than e-mail as long as you are a constituent and only call once. Please read the analysis of this issue below which came from Rose Lernberg from Paw Pac and Virginia Handley from Fund for Animals. Both of these women have been working in the legislature for many, many years, is very well respected and knows what she's talking about. Her comments were addressed to those on her list but are appropriate for all activists.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We have had a number of requests for the e-mail addresses of legislators.

They seem to be accelerating, so we decided to send this message to the entire alert list.

E-mail is great for sending out information quickly and for organizing campaigns. But Virginia Handley and I have always discouraged the use of e-mail messages to legislators. I have read a number of articles that agree.

Perhaps the time will come when we will change our minds. However, that time has definitely not yet arrived.

Have you seen the recent news article about Congress being deluged by e-mail? I am including an article about that at the end of this e-mail.

Some offices in Sacramento pay attention to e-mails, but some definitely do not. I checked with one Chief of Staff in Sacramento not long ago, someone I have known for years. She says forget the e-mails. Her office gets loads of them. Many are sent to a multiple number of legislators with the whole address list showing and that does not go over well. The senders often don't even show their snail mail addresses, so the recipients don't know if the writer is a constituent.

Some offices apparently equate e-mails with signatures on petitions or pre-printed post cards. Even a telephone call counts for more in these offices. Hand written post cards are good too, be sure to include your address.

People say, "But e-mail is so much easier." Frankly, there is not much difference in the effort involved in writing a regular letter and in writing an e-mail letter, IF the e-mail is written properly and not informally.

There is an added effort and cost required to print the letter and fax it, or to address the envelope, enclose the letter, seal the envelope, and add a stamp. But remember that if an e-mail is to be given to the legislator or, what is more likely, to the aide handling the bill, someone on the other end must print it or at least forward it to the proper person. And e-mails are so easy to erase!

At least four letters can be sent in one envelope, so if you write on a number of bills to the same legislator - or to the Governor - that's cheaper than a post card.

===================================

The following is an excerpt from "The Virtual Activist" which is on a web site created by NetAction. This is a training guide for using e-mail and the Internet for advocacy. It gives information on using these tools for action alerts, organizing campaigns, etc. The quote is taken from

http://netaction.org/training/part2a.html

NOTE: NetAction is frequently asked why we recommend not sending email to decision makers. At this time, email is not an effective way to communicate with most decision makers because few of them read it and they have no way of knowing whether the messages they receive are from constituents. It's more effective to phone or write a letter and either mail it or fax it.

=================================

The most recent issue of HUMANElines, a joint e-mail alert project of The Humane Society of the United States and the Fund for Animalls, included this:

DON'T JUST BE AN EMAIL ACTIVIST: According to a recent Washington Post story (03/19/01), email activism may be unwittingly hampering activists' communication with their legislators. The story cites a report by the Congressional Management Foundation and George Washington University which states that because U.S. Senators can get up to 55,000 emails a month (while House members get up to 8,000), "neither office budgets nor office technological capabilities have kept pace with the demands, leading to a growing disconnect between Members of Congress and their constituents." The report goes on to observe that while many emails sent to Congressional offices are automatically deleted by frustrated staffers, handwritten postal mail continues to receive individual attention and responses. The moral of the story: keep those phone calls and handwritten letters coming! They continue to be the only reliable way to get your message across to federal legislators!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


WANTED POSTERS ARE HERE!

3/27/2001

The full color wanted posters are here!

For a donation of $5.00 (to help cover the cost of posters, 9x12 envelopes and mailing), we will send you six posters. We will fill in one with the name and address of your State Senator and State Assemblymember. so you can fill out the rest of the posters and put them up in Pet Stores and Vet Offices. I recommend saving one copy so you can make more copies of it by photocopy it as the need arises.

We'll also put in one copy of a petition that we'll be circulating urging the Governor to sign SB 1093 into law. There are 20 spaces for names, addresses and signatures and if you can photocopy that form and collect as many as you can, we'll get them to the Governor's office. VERY IMPORTANT: Those forms (the ones for the Governor, not the Wanted Posters) must come back to us on or before August first or it could be too late!

We really need more exposure for our issue in the Central Valley, Sacramento, Bakersfield, Fresno, and in Northern CA north of the Bay Area so if you are from that area and would be willing to put up posters, please let us know.

You can also download and print the Wanted Poster & Petition from:

http://ferrets.go.cc/

http://www.ferretnews.org/

http://www.ferretsanon.com/

That way is doesn't cost you or us anything! Come on, let's get this little convict up where others can see him and read about our issue! Please send your donation along with your mailing address to the address below and we'll start getting these posters in the mail so they can be put up right away!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Wanted Poster and Other Expenses

3/24/2001

CFL has incurred some very large expenses this month and we need your help badly. We printed 7,500 Wanted Posters for distribution (3,400 are being send directly to Ferrets Anonymous for their newsletter) in Veterinary offices and pet stores. These will arrive next week (along with the bill). Please contact me if you can help us distribute the posters in your area-- we will need you to pay the postage associated with mailing the posters to you.

We also did a small mailing to the Senate Natural Resources Committee. This mailing was small because only one Senator has not voted in favor of this issue and that's because she hasn't had an opportunity to vote on a ferret bill at all yet. That mailing, to a single Senate district, still cost us in excess of $200.00. But the next Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, will be a slightly larger mailing and the largest mailing will easily be the Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee where many members of this Committee are new to the legislature and new to the ferret issue.

We also had one of the larger bills from our lobbyist but it is one of the best expenditures we've made. Literally one week before the February 26th deadline, we did not have an author for a new ferret bill. Without an author, it would have been another two years with no progress toward our goal. Our lobbyist spent quite a bit of time working to ensure that our issue got the attention it deserved and thankfully it paid off. But face some uphill battles, especially in the Assembly, and we need to be able to afford his help if we are to be successful this year.

Below is a list of our March expenses. We've not yet received the bill from our printer for the Wanted Poster but we were quoted $944.00 for the 4 color poster and I'm estimating a couple of hundred in shipping due to the weight and distance (they were printed in Iowa) and the fact that about half are going to FA in Los Angeles directly so they meet the deadline for their newsletter.

Please help us continue our work this year on your behalf. We will have to cut corners and we will be much less effective if we can't afford our mailings or our lobbyist. With our chances looking so good this year, we want to be able to do all we can to insure that our bill gets before Governor Davis!

Please help us with our fight, your fight, to legalize your pets! Send a donation, whatever you can afford, to Californians for Ferret Legalization, 410 Mountain Home Road, Woodside, CA 94062. Please make checks payable to Californians for Ferret Legalization (CFL).

Expense Item Amount
Wanted Poster $944.00
Shipping (est.) $200.00
Senate NRW Committee mailing:
-Copying $87.59
-Envelopes $31.36
-Postage $138.80
Lobbyist $983.68
Total March Expenses $2,385.43

Just a reminder to be sure to include your name and address when you write or e-mail your State Senator. If you don't, it will be a complete waste of your time since your letter will be discarded.

Also, please remember to only write to your own State Senator and Assemblymember. Excepting Committee Chairs, it is inappropriate to write to someone not representing your area in the legislature.

If you haven't written to your State Senator please do so now. To find out who represents you in the State Capitol, go to Know your Local Representative . Enter your zip code and there you go, it's that easy. If you would like a legalization packet that also includes this information, send us your address and we'll mail one.

You all must do your part this year if we are to win!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750 ferretnews@aol.com


April 2nd Senate Natural Resources Hearing

3/15/2001

Our first hearing is set in the Senate Natural Resources Committee for April 2nd at 4:00 P.M. in room #3191 at the State Capitol. Fortunately, this committee is very friendly to the ferret issue. Both the Chair and Vice Chair are co authors. Other co-authors on this committee are Senators Battin, Monteith and Oller. Our author, Senator Maurice Johannessen is also on this committee. Of the 9 members, all but one have supported this issue in the past. One has not voted on a ferret bill before so we don't know where she stands. Anyone wishing to observe the hearing is welcome to attend as long as quiet is observed.

Californians, remember, you must reside in the district for your letter have any impact on the decision of the members listed below. Please do NOT write if you do not live in the district. It will only hurt our issue if you do. The only exception is the Chair, Senator Kuehl. Anyone who wishes to thank her for her co-authorship and support is welcome to do so.

When you do write, be sure to include your name and address on all correspondence, including e-mails, otherwise your letter or e-mail will not be counted! You will find e-mail addresses below, but do not e-mail any Senator that does not represent you. That will only hurt our efforts.

If your State Senator is listed below, simply write Senator followed by their name and this address: State Capitol, Sacramento, CA, 95814. You will also find their ferret voting history listed and if they supported legalization in the past, please thank them for their support. If they voted against legalization, or are a new member, please urge them to decriminalize ferret ownership for these reasons (and please, please always be polite!!!):

1.) Ferrets are domesticated animals and therefore do not belong in the hands of a wildlife agency.

2.) Ferrets are legal in every other state on the continent.

3.) Ferrets are a safer pet to people and the environment than either a cat or a dog. All 50 states report no feral ferrets ever in their states.

4.) The law is not working (tell them to visit a pet store and look at the ferret items on the shelf) and when a law is not working there is usually something very wrong with it.

5.) Banning ferrets is a waste of taxpayer dollars and governmental goodwill.

SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE

Sheila Kuehl (D-23) Chair Co-author email: senator.kuehl@sen.ca.gov
Area representing: Northern L.A. basin (Santa Monica, Westwood, West L.A., Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Hollywood) and Southern San Fernando Valley (Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Agoura, Westlake Village, Calabasas, and pacific Palisades).
Ferret voting history: supported our bill. Please thank Senator Kuehl for co-authoring SB 1093 and ask her to help us pass our bill this year.

Thomas "Rico" Oller Co-author (R-1) email: senator.oller@sen.ca.gov
Area representing: Thirteen rural northeastern counties stretching from the Oregon border to Mono County, including the bulk of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and its foothills.
Ferret voting history: supported our bill. Please thank Senator Oller for co-authoring SB 1093 and ask him to help us pass our bill this year.

Dede Alpert (D-39) Co-author email: senator.alpert@sen.ca.gov
Area representing: Includes the city of San Diego. Extends from La Jolla and Rancho Penasquitos to Imperial Beach and east to El Cajon.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank Senator Alpert for co-authoring SB 1093 and ask her to help us pass our bill this year.

Debra Bowen (D-28) email: senator.bowen@sen.ca.gov
Area representing: Southwest Los Angeles coastline including the cities of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance and Carson.
Please thank Senator Bowen for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to help us pass our bill this year.

Maurice Johannessen Author (R-4) email: senator.johannesses@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: All of the counties of Siskiyou, Trinity, Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Colusa, Sutter, Yolo and Solano (except for the city of Vallejo), and parts of Butte and Sacramento counties.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session, is now authoring our bill. Please thank Senator Johannessen for authoring SB 1093.

Dick Monteith (R-12) Co-author email: senator.monteith@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: All of Stanislaus County, Merced County, Mariposa County and Tuolomne County with additional areas in Madera, Fresno and San Joaquin counties.
Ferret voting history: supported our bill. Please thank Senator Monteith for co-authoring SB 1093 and encourage him to help us pass our bill this year.

Senator Debra Ortiz (D-6) email: senator.ortiz@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Most of Sacramento County and the city of Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Carmichael, Fair Oaks, North Highlands, Orangevale and Rio Linda.
Ferret voting history: has not voted yet on a ferret bill. Please ask Senator Ortiz to support SB 1093.

Byron Sher (D-11) email: senator.sher@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and stretches from Belmont to San Jose, including the San Mateo coast and the south San Francisco Bay region.
Ferret voting history: supported our bill. Please thank Senator Sher for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to help us pass our bill this year.

Senator Tom Torlakson (D-7) email: senator.torlakson@sen.ca.gov
Area representing: Most of Contra Costa county and a portion of Alameda including Antioch, Brentwood, Concord, Danville, Lafayette, Livermore, Martinez, Orinda, Pinole, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon Walnut Creek and parts of Pleasanton and Richmond.
Ferret voting history: supported our bill. Please thank Senator Torlakson for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to help us pass our bill this year.

If you can send a roll or two of first class stamps to the address below, you will be helping us to continue with the very important mailings we do to thousands of Californians throughout the legislative year. Please do your part to help us pass this bill: 1) write your legislators and the Governor, 2) help us with a donation (cash or stamps) mailed to the address below.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


New Co-Authors for SB 1093

3/4/2001

Two new co authors have signed up for SB 1093. They are, Senator Ray Haynes (R- Riverside) and Senator Sheila Kheul (D-Santa Monica). Both were co-authors in the past and we hope that more of our past co-authors sign on to this bill. If one of these State Senators is your State Senator, please write and thank him or her for co-authoring SB 1093.

Californians need to make sure that they remain connected very closely to the progress of our bill this year if we are to succeed. If you have ferret friends or neighbors that have an interest in our bill, please have them contact us by phone or e-mail and sign up for both the CA UPDATE as well as for our targeted legislative mailings. We find that when we can reach our members with a letter telling them the name and address of their legislator by first class mail just before an important hearing, the response is very positive. But to be part of that positive effort, Californains must be aware of what is happening. Please, make sure that everyone is on board this year!

We hope to publish another WANTED poster that was another very effective way to reach closet ferret owners in Veterinarian's offices and Pet Stores. I want to thank Ferrets Anonymous for a very generous donation that will be put in the Wanted poster fund.

If you care about seeing your pet ferrets protected, please send a donation to Californians for Ferret Legalization at the address below. The expenses we incurr include a professional and highly respected lobbyist in the State Capitol, the cost of several first class mailings, copying, stamps and envelops. And, hopefully, well be able to print the WANTED Poster as well.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


New Ferret Bill In CA-- We Desperately Need Your Help

2/25/2001

Thankfully we have a new author for a ferret bill in California once again. His name is Senator Maurice Johannessen (R) Redding, and the bill number is SB 1093. Co-authors at this point are Senator Dede Alpert (D) San Diego, Senator Liz Figueroa (D) Fremont, and Assemblywoman Lynne Leach (R) Walnut Creek. If you are in one of these legislator's districts, please write a thank you note for authoring or co-authoring SB 1093.

If your Senator or Assemblymember co-authored AB 854 (our last ferret legalization bill), let them know we have another bill this year that needs their support. Past co-authors are the following: Senator Kuehl, Senator Margett, Senator Battin, Senator Torlakson, Senator Figueroa (currently a co-author), Senator Haynes, Assemblymember Robert Pacheco, Assemblymember Runner, Assemblymember Leach (currently a co-author).

To find out the name of your State Senator and Assemblymember visit the Know Your Legislator page. From there it's easy to simply enter your zip code for the names of your Representatives. Writing them is easy as well. All capitol addresses are: Senator X, or Assemblymember X, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.

When you write please be respectful and keep your letters to just one page. You must include your name and address if you want your letter to count. All your legislator will care about is if you live in his or her district. If you don't they don't want to hear from you. So please don't be afraid to include your name and address. Nothing bad will happen if you write, but nothing good will happen if you don't!

This bill is a reflection of our last year's bill which was an amnesty bill for ferret that are already here if they are spayed, neutered and vaccinated. The bill required a study of the possible impacts of ferrets on wildlife and people but did not allow releasing ferrets into the wild. It also required that ferrets be evaluated in the context of other domesticated pets and the study would be a basis for the Commission to consider delisting the ferret from the wildlife statute it is currently in. You can read the text of the bill on the Bill Information page.

This is a baby step for the state of California where ferrets are concerned. But just as a child's first step is more significant to the parents than to the child, who doubtless has been working up to this for some time, the passage of SB 1093 would simply make the tens if not hundreds of thousands of ferrets already here legal (really a half a baby step for the state). But it would decriminalize those of you who own ferrets for the lifetime of those ferrets regardless of what happens down the line. No more fear from a knock on the door. Neighbors would be welcome even at romp time. Ex's (spouses, employers, employees, girlfriends, boyfriends.....) could not use ferrets as a way to hurt people who have simply chosen one domesticated pet over another. Those of us doing rescue will be spared the pain and expense of separating a confiscated ferret from the people who consider it family. That will be wonderful!!

As you may know, Californians have been asking for the same right to legally own the domesticated ferret that virtually everyone else in the country has by now. My first meeting with the Department of Fish and Game was in 1990 or 1991. Our first bill in the legislature was in 1994. Since 1992, we've watched the bittersweet passage of ferret legalization bills in Georgia, Michigan and Massachusetts. Yet we've seen no remedy here. Why? One reason is because of the intransigence of the Department of Fish and Game and their willingness to use this issue politically. Another is that far too many Californians and not actively (or effectively) involved. Too many folks tell me they've been "waiting" for the law to change. Well, if you wait, you will have a very long wait because those of us (and there are many but not enough) who do the lion's share of the work will tire and there won't be anyone left to carry the ball.

Whether you live in California or not, please consider this the time to ask yourself if there is any way you can help us pass SB 1093. If you are from California, please take the time to follow this bill. Sign up for the CA UPDATE or subscribe to SB 1093 by visiting the Bill Information page. Please help us raise the money we need to do our very important targeted mailings. These mailings go out first class (can you send us a roll or two of first class stamps?) and have helped this issue pass significant committee votes. We'd like to print our Wanted Poster again but aren't sure if we can afford to. Can you send a donation to the Wanted Poster Fund so we can print these for pet stores and veterinarians offices in this state?

If you aren't from California, do you have friends or family here? Can you take a moment to find out the names of their representatives and have your friends and family write to their representatives? Are you a member of a ferret club? Will you help us get the word out about our need for help in California? Would you as your club to consider a fundraiser to support our efforts?

In-spite of two surgeries last year, and the prospect of turning 80 years old this summer, my father is still committed to this effort and so am I. But time is running out for both of us. Please give the ferret legalization effort your best effort this year!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Start Writing Your Representatives Now

1/22/2001

Though it's still very early in the legislative year, it's important to go ahead and write to both of your State Representatives now. Why? In light of the power crisis (no pun intended), I'm afraid that we must start early in our letter writing campaign in order to get the attention of our representatives. However, unlike the power crisis, the ferret problem is an easy problem to fix.

We must remind our legislators that the ferret issue is an issue that deserves their attention. Remind them that ferrets are legal in every other state on the continent. Remind them that as a domesticated pet, it should be in the hands of a wildlife agency. Remind them that the Department of Fish and Game's own study revealed that, unlike the dog, cat, horse, goat, pig, sheep or burro, no documented feral populations of ferrets have occurred anywhere in the United States. Clearly the ferret is a terrific pet for the environment.

Let your representatives know that this is an issue that has not been dealt with fairly. Two ferret legalization/amnesty bills have passed all Assembly and Senate committees by huge margins. They passed both Assembly floor votes by virtual landslides. The ferret bill was killed in the last two legislative sessions by a single State Senator who did not allow it a hearing in his committee. That's simply not right. It's not democratic, it's autocratic.

This issue deserves to be heard but whether your representatives pay attention to it or not depends entirely upon you! I'm asking each of you to write a short, one page letter to both of your State Representatives, your State Assemblyman and State Senator, asking him or her to help ensure that ferret-owning Californians are decriminalized for doing something citizens in 48 other states can do with impunity. You must include your name and address on your letter or e-mail for it to have any value at all. I can assure you that nothing bad will happen to you if you write and include your address. No one will come to your home. A search warrant is essential for that to happen and no judge would issue a search warrant for someone who has written in about a bad law (you don't own any ferrets and would never put that in a letter). I can also assure you that absolutely nothing good will happen if you don't write!

If you don't know your two State representatives (you have one State Senator and one State Assemblymember that represent you in Sacramento on state issues) please go to our website and click on Know Your Local Representative. From there, it's easy. All you have to do is to enter your zip code. You can also call us at (650) 851-3750, or e-mail us your address so a ferret legalization packet can be sent to you in the mail.

You should also visit http://ferrets.go.cc./ and download the ferret legalization poster. Simply fill in the bottom portion of the poster with the information you've been given about the names and addresses of your representatives. You can then distribute the poster to neighborhood pet stores and veterinarians so that others can write in as well. Ask friends and family members to support you by writing to their California representatives. I know if we all work together on this issue we can win but it's up to you this year.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 854 Dead in Appropriations

8/24/2000

Unfortunately, but not unexpectantly, I just heard today from our author's office that AB 854 was put into the suspense file (the file for bills that will cost the state more than $140,000) and was not allowed out of that file by the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Patrick Johnston D-5 (Stockton/Sacramento).

Senator Johnston has long been an opponent of ferret legalization. He has never allowed proponents of the bill to present him with any evidence that contradicts his position. He sits on the board of directors of the CA Audubon Society, another opponent of ferret legalization.

Senator Johnston is term limited at the end of this session and, while his replacement in the Senate will not necessarily chair this committee, we hope that a less partial represenatitive will take his place. But it is up to all of you to ensure, with your votes this fall, that the ferret issue gets a fair hearing from all of the new members.

As elections are held for State Assemblymembers and State Senators this fall, please work hard to elect someone with an open mind to the facts on the ferret issue. The ferret legalization bill has passed the California State Assembly time and time again with huge margins, but Senator Johnston has blocked a vote in the Senate for the past several years. This means that we must start anew with a new bill and a new author.

It's entirely up to you what kind of reception ferret legalization gets from the State Legislature next year. If you want ferrets legalized, you have to work hard for it, it's as simple as that.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Appropriations Committee Hearing Scheduled

8/13/2000

Our bill, AB 854, is set to be heard in the Appropriations Committee on Monday August 21st. Hopefully the chairman will do the fair thing and allow this bill to have a hearing rather than to kill it by putting it in the suspense file.

Please do NOT write to anyone on this committee if you are not in his or her district. Non-residents of California under NO circumstances should write at all, please! The only exception (for California residents ONLY) is the Committee Chair, Patrick Johnston. However, if you cannot write a POLITE letter to Senator Johnston, I beg you not to write to the Chairman or anyone. YOU WILL ONLY HURT OUR ISSUE!!!!!

Californians, remember, you must reside in the district for your letter have any impact on the decision of the members listed below. When you do write, be sure to include your name and address on all correspondence, otherwise your letter or e-mail will not be counted! You will find e-mail addresses below if we have them as well as tel and fax if available. To write to any of the members listed below, simply write Senator followed by their name and this address: State Capitol, Sacramento, CA, 95814. You will also find their ferret voting history listed and if they supported legalization in the past, please thank them for their support. If they voted against legalization, or are a new member, please urge them to decriminalize ferret ownership for these reasons (and please, please always be polite!!!):

1.) Ferrets are domesticated animals and therefore do not belong in the hands of a wildlife agency.

2.) Ferrets are legal in the rest of the contiguous 48 states.

3.) Ferrets are a safer pet to people and the environment than either a cat or a dog. All 50 states report no feral ferrets ever in their states.

4.) The law is not working (tell them to visit a pet store and look at the ferret items on the shelf) and when a law is not working there is usually something very wrong with it.

5.) Banning ferrets is a waste of taxpayer dollars and governmental goodwill.

All Californians should also write to their individual State Senators. To find out the name of your State Senator, Californians can visit our webpage at Legislators/Know your Representatives. Follow instructions for the Senate representatives.

All Californians should also write to our Governor, Gray Davis at: Governor Gray Davis, Governor's Office, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814 to let him know CA citizens have been seriously wronged by the Department of Fish and Game where ferrets are concerned.

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE

Patrick Johnston (D-5) tel(916)445-2407
email: senator.johnston@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Southern part of Sacramento county and all of San Joaquin county.
Ferret voting history: was absent or abstained at last hearing. Please ask this member to support ferret legalization.

Tim Leslie, Vice Chair (R-1) tel(916) 445-5788
e-mail: senator.leslie@sen.ca.gov
Area representing: Thirteen rural northeastern counties stretching from the oregon border to Mono County, including the bulk of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and its foothills.
Ferret voting history: abstained in last hearing, perhaps did not like the idea of a study. Please thank Senator Leslie for his past support and ask him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Dede Alpert (D-39) tel(916)445-3952 fax(916)327-2188
email: senator.alpert@sen.ca.gov
Area representing: Includes the city of San Diego. Extends from La Jolla and Rancho Penasquitos to Imperial Beach and east to El Cajon.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank Senator Alpert for her support and ask her to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Debra Bowen (D-28) Tel(916)445-5953
email: senator.bowen@sen.ca.gov
Area representing: Southwest Los Angeles coastline including the cities of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance and Carson.
Ferret voting history: new member to Senate but voted yes while in the Assembly and yes in our last committee Senate Natural Resources. Please thank Senator Bowen for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator John Burton (D-3) Tel(916) 445-1412 fax(916) 445-4722
email: http://WWW.sen.ca.gov/burton/opinion.htp
Areas representing: Marin County, part of Sonoma county and the eastern portion of San Francisco including the cities of San Rafael, Novato, and Petaluma.
Ferret voting history: has not had the opportunity to vote on this bill. Please ask Senator Burton to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Martha Escutia (D-30) Tel(916) 327-8315
email: Senator.Escutia@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Central Los Angeles County containing the cities of Whittier, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Norwalk and southeast Los Angeles.
Ferret voting history: voted no while in Assembly. Please ask Senator Escutia to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Ross Johnson (R-35) Tel(916)445-4961 fax(949)833-0690
No email available
Areas representing: Coastal Orange County including the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Cypress, La Palma, Rossmoor, Seal Beach and Tustin.
Ferret voting history: has not had the opportunity to vote on this issue but has pledged his support. Please thank Senator Johnson for his support and ask him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Betty Karnette (D-27) Tel(916) 445-6447 fax(916)327-9113
email: Senator.Karnette@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: The Palos Verdes Peninsula communities, Avalon, San Pedro and most of Long Beach, Signal Hill and the southwest cities of Lakewood, Cerritos, Bellflower, Downey, Artesia and Hawaiian Gardens.
Ferret voting history: has not had the opportunity to vote on this issue but has pledged her support. Please thank Senator Karnette for her support and ask him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator David G. Kelley (R-37) Tel (916)445-5581 fax (916)327-2187
email: senator.kelley@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Rural San Diego County, all of Imperial County and eastern Riverside County and includes the northern part of the city of San Diego, Santee, Poway, Ramona, Hemet, Blythe, El Cajon, Coachella, and Palm Springs.
Ferret voting history: has not had the opportunity to vote on this issue but has pledged his support. Please ask Senator Kelley to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Bruce McPherson (R-15) Tel (916)445-5843 fax (916) 445-8081
email: senator.mcpherson@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: A coastal district below the San Francisco Bay area that includes all of Monterey, Santa cruz and San Benito counties, as well as the more rural southern portions of Santa Clara County.
Ferret voting history: has not had the opportunity to vote on this issue but has pledged his support. Please ask Senator McPherson to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Richard Mountjoy (R-29) Tel (916) 445-2848
email: senator.mountjoy@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Arcadia, Bradbury, Claremont, Covina, Diamond Bar, Duarte, Glendora, Hacienda Heights, Industry, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, LaVerne, Monrovia, Pomona, Roland Heights, San Dimas, Sierra Madre, Temple City, Whittier & West Covina.
Ferret voting history: Senator Mountjoy voted yes while in the Assembly but has not had a chance to vote yet in the Senate on this issue. Please thank Senator Mountjoy for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator Don Perata (D-9) Tel (916) 445-6577
email: Senator.Perata@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Oakland, Richmond, San Pablo, El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, Alameda, Emeryville, El Sobrante, Piedmont, Kensington, Pinole and Bayview.
Ferret voting history: new member to Senate but voted yes while in the Assembly. Please thank Senator Perata for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Senator John Vasconcellos (D-13) Tel (916)445-9740 fax (916)324-0283
email: senator.vasconcellos@sen.ca.gov
Areas representing: Most of San Jose, in addition to the cities of Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, parts of Campbell, Cupertino and Saratoga.
has not had the opportunity to vote on this issue. Would like to see amendments that include leashing ferrets and no ferrets in homes with young children. Please ask Senator Vasconcellos to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.

Californians, it's time to get busy! Our bill has always died in the Senate and you must be prepared to work that much harder now. Don't forget to get all of your friends and family members writing as well. Ask the members of this committee to look at this issue fairly and not be misled-- Ferrets Do Not Survive in the Wild Anywhere in the United States. They are a great pet from an environmental point of view, far better than a cat or just about any other pet (goldfish excepted but how can you cuddle one of those?).

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Fish and Game Commission Behaves Cowardly

4/9/2000

This is an update on the last Fish and Game Commission Hearing on Ferret Legalization that took place on Thurs April 6th. Thanks to Debby G. of Capitol City Ferret Club for these accurate and detailed notes. Her comments and notes appear below in plain text. My comments and references are in italic so you can distinguish the two.

The Fish and Game Commission completely folded to the opposition (CA Waterfowl, CA Audubon and the Fish and Game Department) and to their own established positions on ferret legalization in California. All of the Commissioners, except for the newly appointed Commissioner Flores, about whom we know nothing, have ties to organizations that have previously opposed ferret legalization in the past. Still, we hoped that the Commission would be neutral and vote to go to notice on the ferret issue as they did in 1995, but the hearing was frankly a farce, the facts were completely ignored, and the rights of Californians to make their own choice of domesticated pet were run over by special interests and by egos. This has clearly become a case of "screw the ferret people".

April 6th Fish & Game Commission Hearing

Commissioners present:
Mr. Mike Chrisman, President
Mr. Sam P. Schuchat , Vice President
Mr. Richard Thieriot, Member
Mr. Michael Flores, Member (newly appointed)
Also in Attendance: Executive Director Robert Treanor, Director Robert Hight

Fish & Game Commission Presentation:
Chronology of Ferret Issue in California
* The process and steps which may be taken to remove ferrets from the list of prohibited wildlife, what steps if a CEQA study is called for.

* Randall Christisson (Attorney for Fish & Game) attempted to give his 'legal' interpretation of "domesticated".
--wild vs. non-wild/safe cohabitation with other species, etc.
--He quoted, "The definition of "domesticated" should be decided by 'legislative statute' "

The Catholic Church ruled by decree in Gallileo's day that the earth revolved around the sun. Just as that decree didn't make the heavens suddenly change course, Christisson's absurd attempt to disguise the domestication issue with the lie that "The definition of "domesticated" should be decided by 'legislative statute' , doesn't disguise the fact that the domesticated ferret is in a wildlife statute where it simply does not belong!

According to one of the participants, the only options for the Commission presented by Christisson and Treanor were essentially 1) to not do anything on this issue, or 2) to require proponents to do an expensive Environmental Impact Review (EIR). This is outrageous. Ferret supporters are simply asking the Commission to reverse an error, to correct a mistake. The DOMESTICATED ferret DOES NOT belong in a list of prohibited WILDLIFE! Leaving the ferret in this list is tantamount to ruling that the earth is flat, that the sun revolves around the earth, that water runs uphill... what nonsense! It's absurd and outrageous to ask that ferret supporters pay for a study of this issue for the following reasons: no study is necessary. The question here is whether or not the ferret is domesticated. It is! And it is legal everywhere else and should be legal here. In addition, the effects of ferret legalization in other states already has been documented by the Department of Fish and Game and the results were stellar, no feral ferrets anywhere, ever! But those results simply do not matter to the department and any study done by DFG or UC Davis would be a complete lie.

Documents received by the commissioners about the ferret issue:
approx. 93 pieces of correspondence in support of legalization of ferrets from 2/3 to 4/1; and hundreds more by form letters in support of legalization received within the past few days.
Letter from Petco Corporation
Letters of Opposition to commission received from:
1) National Audubon Society of California
2) CA Waterfowl Association
3) Ducks Unlimited clarifying some misstatements in the form letters
4) Delta Waterfowl

* Mr. Floyd Carley (CFL):
Point of contention: AB363 was not defeated--it was placed in suspense, where the bill died�
Presented evidence for domestication: Domestic Ferrets are not within the jurisdiction of a wildlife agency.
Over 155 sources define ferrets as domesticated animals Compendium of Animal Rabies Control of 1998/ Domestic Animals -- lists only 3 domesticated species: Dogs, Cats and Ferrets
No feral ferrets -- no impact in any state!
Legalizing ferrets may actually HELP protect our native wildlife:
--Cats are a threat to birds -- many Californians own cats because we cannot legally own ferrets
Life expectancy of ferrets in wild @ 3 days

* Other Testimony in favor of legalization:
via Alice K. from Jason Dean manager of hardgood for PetCO northern CA via phone:
� 1998 -- $780,000 in sales of ferret related supplies in Northern CA
� 1999 -- $1,090,000 in sales ferret related supplies in Northern CA
� Increase of 41% in one year!

These figures are significant, not in terms of their dollar value but as a revelation of the growing numbers of people breaking the law. A 41% increase in sales of ferret related items could very well mean a 41% increase in ferret ownership. What compelling testimony to the fact that the law is a joke, that it's not respected.

Ashley Weldon (9 years old): Told commissioners that due to her asthma, and that her Dad is allergic to cats, that ferrets are the only furry pet she can be around without jeopardizing her health. She visits cousins with ferrets in Oregon -- disappointed they cannot come with them to CA when visiting. Doesn't understand why!
� Ashley asked the commissioners, "Have you gentlemen ever personally met a pet ferret?"
They admitted that they really hadn't!!

* Dr.Jyl Rubin, Sacramento (representing herself, and Capitol City Ferret Club):
--Television vet & Exotic animal vet; works with "wild" animals such as lions, tigers, apes, reptiles, wild exotic birds/captive bred
-- Ferrets NOT wild animals -- domesticated
--Majority of ferrets in shelters are 'surrendered' pets -- not found outdoors. The condition of these ferrets after being outdoors a couple days... they are some of the most fragile creatures she's ever worked on. They get very nutritionally depleted within days.
--CA Vet schools NOT teaching ferret medicine
-- Ferrets have the 'most loyal' owners, than other species. They are the first to go to the vets when there's a problem with their pets (practice sees about 35% ferrets)
-- CA is looked up to as a forerunner in the United States and should be Number "1": Why then are they so adamant at ignoring the facts: that the other 48 states that allow ferrets have NO problems with them, and that they do NOT form feral colonies, confirmed by their own Dept.'s study! There is a political agenda to dissuade ownership in CA
--We will not go away!

* Dr. Renee Gandolfi, Castro Valley (representing the CVMA and over 4000 veterinarians)
-- rabies vaccine approved for ferrets -- ferrets are not a health risk for rabies.
-- many ferrets are not getting medical treatment, as owners are afraid to bring them to a vet because they were afraid of being turned in, or having their ferrets confiscated.
-- UC Davis Small Animal Hospital will not treat ferrets... is sickened when someone calls him with a ferret emergency from 60 miles away in Vacaville, when they have an excellent clinic for small pets at UC Davis less than 15 minutes from them!
-- Veterinary peers at national conferences don't take CA ferret veterinarians seriously
-- Need consistency in the state, as for being normally domesticated in CA: it's hypocritical that you let the vets see iguanas, boa constrictors, macaws -- but not pet ferrets.
-- Ferrets do not exhibit the behavior of a wild animal; he states, "I'm more afraid of being bitten by a parrot than a ferret".

*Dr. Sell
-- Ferrets Cannot survive outdoors
-- Ferrets are less likely to injure by bite
-- Spayed and neutered ferrets cannot breed, so cannot form feral colonies if they do get out... and will die within days

Between 40-50 pro-ferret supporters were present with many testifying in support of legalization.

II. Opposition:
* John McCaul: Audubon Society
-- States that, "� the commission has authority to determine what is wild�"
-- Referred to Mike Machado's bill (AB409): that the Exotic Bird groups were powerful and instrumental in defeating it.
--He recommends that the Committee:
a) Rule to establish restricted species in this state
b) Wants a scientific study, and to be played out by documentation
c) Friendly challenge to ferret owners: "submit to a CEQA Study"
d) Domesticated species should be set as a precedent that goes way beyond ferrets to include any evidence of a menace to public wildlife
e) Who should pay for this study? the proponents of the change

John McCaul touted Audubon as taking position "based on science". He also told my father and I that he believed that ferrets would not go feral based on the evidence he'd seen and the e-mails he'd received. He said his legislative group voted to oppose in spite of this. So much for science. Let's all do Audubon a favor and, instead of getting a ferret (after all, they're illegal here) get yourself a cat. That's right, don't get a domesticated animal that is routinely kept indoors and is routinely spayed or neutered. Get a cat. In fact, get a female and don't bother to spay her or keep her indoors*. That way she and her offspring can consume millions of the critters that Audubon is trying to protect by sending ferret owners to jail.

*As a true animal lover, I don't encourage anyone to get a cat and keep it outdoors and unneutered because of the risk to the cat herself from disease and accident, because of the tragedy of pet overpopulation, and because of the impact from cats on wildlife. BUT I THINK YOU GET MY DRIFT! HOW STUPID OF AUDUBON, HOW LITTLE THEY CARE FOR THEIR REPUTATION FOR SCIENCE. NO ONE SUPPORTING FERRET LEGALIZATION SHOULD EVER GIVE MONEY TO ANY AUDUBON SOCIETY, CALIFORNIA OR OTHERWISE, AND NEVER TRUST THEIR SO-CALLED SCIENTIFIC PRONOUNCEMENTS BECAUSE IT IS CLEARLY NOT BASED ON SCIENCE AT ALL.

* McLandress: CA Waterfowl Association
-- Stated that although he's an animal lover, he would NEVER own a cat, as it's a bad threat to native species
-- Cited several studies, including the San Juan Island, New Zealand, etc.
-- Gave an example of an article which stated that a tethered goat was ripped apart by a group of wild ferrets!!!

When I heard about this comment I really couldn't believe it. What a fool this McLandress must be! One of our members wrote in that "McLandress' statement is ABSOLUTELY TRUE!!! I saw it for myself in the documentary film Ferrasic Park. (Remember the scene with the goat tethered to the tree???) The wild ferrets went on to corner, terrorize, and nearly kill two human children in a restaurant kitchen. It was positively frightening! Perhaps we should re-think our position.

--Lee Donehower, Bay Area LOS

CA Waterfowl asked Audubon to support the ferret ban. Audubon, being the "scientific" organization I described above, obliged. They also contacted both Delta Waterfowl and Ducks Unlimited AFTER we received letters from both organizations about the lack of an impact of ferrets on the environment. In other words, they care nothing for the truth of the matter and ask sister organizations to rethink their honest responses to honest questions about ferrets. What's in it for them? Longer season? Bigger bag limits? They have also either paid for UC Davis researcher Dessley Whisson's "expert" advice and testimony at these and legislative hearings, or have used taxpayer dollars for such "expert" advice and testimony-- unless Whisson is not paid for her time which I sincerely doubt. Either way, there is a complete conflict of interest here with UC Davis and there's no way we would ever agree to that organization having anything to do with the ferret issue.

Note: It was also mentioned by either McCaul or McLandress that ferrets are indeed intelligent - and, therefore, smart enough to learn to fend for itself in the wild�

Right, just like the wild Black-footed ferrets have been able to do after just 10 years of cage-rearing. Those WILD animals have failed to re-establish themselves and there's no way that domesticated ferrets could ever complete with this animal's innate intelligence for living in the wild. Domesticated ferret may be smart enough to steal someone's slippers but have no clue about hawks, badgers, coyotes etc. Another lie.

One of the Commissioners stated that CA resembles an island -- "we are cut off from the rest of the US by a mountain range; so it may be represented as such."

This is of course absurd. Island ecologies simply cannot be compared to California and any attempt to do so is a smoke and mirrors comment with no basis in any biological reality.

Next was supposed to be "Rebuttal Testimony from CA Waterfowl Assoc.", however Dessley Whisson used the opportunity to address initial issues instead! Again, how interesting that Whisson appears in the slot designated for CA Waterfowl. If any of our members have ties to Davis, please look into her funding and connection to this organization. We have a right to know!

*Desley Whisson, Ph.D., UC Davis Extension Wildlife Specialist, Vertebrate Pest Ecology (however, representing "herself" as expert testimony!)
-- Cited excerpts from a book "Ferrets and Ferret Hunting", and her "Annotated Bibliography on the Ferret"
-- Increased number of Road kills of ferrets on San Juan Island
-- Ferrets "pocket-sized Houdinis", are notorious for escaping
-- Mentioned that New Zealand is presently bringing forth restrictions against ferret ownership

Deputy Director DFG:
-- risk to wildlife appears significant
-- DFG Web page with much ferret data on it
-- cited CA's rich diverse wildlife -- the need to protect sensitive species from detrimental non-native predators
-- Propose we do a study; however that we treat ferrets as we would dogs & cats as for licensing, etc., and not encumber the dept

NOTE: It was brought up that Dept. of Fish & Game has better things to do than to 'roust' ferret owners
RESPONSE FROM FLOYD: However, that IS what's happening! Can we allow the ferrets that are already in the state to remain legally until this issue is resolved/study completed ??!!
Commission's response was negative.

Commissioner Theriot
more diverse species of wildlife than any other state which the Commission has to take into consideration its protection

Commissioner Schuchat:
Curious about how the chinchilla & Asian Water Buffalo were handled in this respect??

Re: Asian Water Buffalo and its removal from the list of prohibited wildlife:
Fish and Game stated that "The water buffalo was "Non-Controversial"! Did equivalent of a CEQA study (this would be a Negative Declaration which is exactly what the ferret issue merits) and didn't see that it would cause any problem to native wildlife.

Chinchilla: unsure of how the procedure to remove it from the prohibited list was handled --- removed from the list long time ago; maybe in the early 70's?

Ferret supporters, this is something that you need to highlight in your next letter to your State Senator. The Asian Water Buffalo was removed by the Commission without an EIR. In other words, when it suits the Commission and the Department they remove an animal, when it doesn't, they put up roadblocks and call out the troops. The comment by Fish and Game that the WaterBuffalo issue was "non-controversial" is hilarious in the context of their behavior on the ferret issue. There would be no controversy as there was none in the other 6 states that legalized ferrets with the support of their respective wildlife agencies if our Fish and Game hadn't lied and lied and lied to the Commission, the media, the legislature and other members in this "good old boy" network of theirs. YOU MUST MAKE YOUR STATE SENATOR AWARE OF THIS. THAT THE COMMISSION ACTED WITH COWARDICE AND MALICE IN REGARD TO THE FERRET ISSUE, THAT THE LEGISLATURE SHOULD CORRECT THIS INSANE INEQUITY WHEREBY CITIZENS OF OTHER STATES CAN OWN THE SAFEST DOMESTICATED PET TO THE ENVIRONMENT YET IN CA THOSE SAME PEOPLE ARE CRIMINALIZED.

Mark Starr -DHS
-- CA Dept of Health Services opposes ferret legalization -- as they feel they're inappropriate pets to have around infants and a risk factor to young children

-- Cited few cases of ferret attacks (e.g. twins in Orange County) -- admits that this is the behavior of a few unpredictable 'rogue' ferrets, but that they don't know what the 'trigger' is that makes them attack babies

We do know what triggers dogs: territory, food, jealousy, and they kill 16-20 people a year, mostly children! That ferrets are somehow a greater threat is ridiculous but someone has to mouth the Health Department's opposition.

-- states that there's a large potential for discarded pets after legalization

-- Rabies is no longer an issue with the dept. since approved ferret vaccine available.

-- CA taxpayers paid for additional rabies studies to be done on ferrets before the state adopted its quarantine statute - that in 1998, although the CDC approved a 10 day quarantine -- CA approves a 14-day quarantine period for vaccinated ferrets

-- Made the point that cats & especially dogs are more likely to bite and cause serious injury to individuals (dogs over 200 times more likely to bite)
-- however that there may be so few ferret bites reported because of the fear of losing one's pet.

This last argument by Starr is false since in most states no one loses their ferret because of a bite so the argument only applies to CA. Fact is, and anyone with an honest bone in their body has to acknowledge it, is that ferrets ARE a safer pet to people than dogs or cats. Dogs kill 16-20 people every year. They also send 800,000 people to hospitals for treatment -- yes, that's close to a million each year. This agency opposed ferret legalization since THEY WERE ASKED TO BY THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME IN THE 1980's. Again, your taxpayer dollars and good science at work.

DECISION:
The commissioners were not ready to vote to remove ferrets from the list of prohibited wildlife at this time.

The Commissioners folded, behaved cowardly, ignored science and truth and fairness.

A 1-year study (EIR) to determine the impact that ferrets will have on native species -- to be paid for by the proponents of the study. To find an impartial group to do the study -- approved and monitored by both sides.

No way, no how would we ever agree to this. The state should correct it's mistake immediately and remove the DOMESTICATED ferret from the hands of a WILDLIFE agency and from the WILDLIFE statute prohibiting it's possession.

To set a precedent for future animals (wild pets) to be removed from the prohibited list.

Once again, you see how this Commission cares nothing for the facts? Hello??? The ferret is DOMESTICATED!!!! Removing it from the WILDLIFE statute doesn't SET a precedent it FOLLOWS one in which other domesticated pets simply aren't part of the agency's business.

(Commissioner Schuchat admits that he has 4 x 4 cubic feet of literature, studies and documents about ferrets -- but still cannot come to a decision on this issue!!)

Cannot, will not, because he simply has an agenda which does not include legalizing ferrets. Ferret supporters, if you want to express your disgust with the Commission, they've certainly earned it, write again, but this is a perfect opportunity to write to your State Senator and urge him/her to sponsor a ferret legalization bill. This issue has dragged on long enough. Enough good and innocent people have been hurt, it's up to the legislature to get involved and solve this problem. And your representative WILL listen to you because you helped to put him/her in the State Capitol! Unlike the Commission, which is supposed to regulate the Fish and Game Department, but is instead a captive of it and special interests, you do have a voice with your State Senator and Assemblymember. DO NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY TO WRITE. WE NEED A STRONG AUTHOR NEXT YEAR FOR A FERRET LEGALIZATION BILL!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


April Fish and Game Commission Hearing

2/11/2000

On Thursday, April 6th, at 10:00 AM the CA Fish and Game Commission will again hear the ferret issue. The meeting will be held at the Resources Bldg. Auditorium (first floor) at 1416 9th St., Sacramento.

Expected to testify against this issue is the CA Waterfowl Association who apparently has a close relationship with UC Davis Wildlife Biologist Dessley Whisson, National Audubon Society and possibly the Sierra Club and Farm Bureau.

These organizations have consistently lied about ferrets and their ability to impact wildlife. They don't seem to care that the CA Department of Fish and Game's own survey showed that not a single state in this country has ever documented a case of feral ferrets. In contrast, cats, dogs (CA Waterfowl members routinely use dogs to retrieve ducks), horses, goats and pigs, do go feral in the US. These organizations support making criminals of everyone of you that own domesticated ferrets yet they can own dometsticated pets that are far more dangerous to the environment with impunity. This is unfair and if you don't want to see this continue, you must take a stand.

I've told you all before to get a copy of the survey that Fish and Game did on ferrets. The results are stellar and you need to be able to use this to help legalize your pets. The survey is called 1996-97 Nationwide Ferret Survey of State Wildlife Agencies. It is available from the Department of Fish and Game. I urge you to obtain a copy of this survey to use both with your legislators and the Commission. It is available by requesting the 1996-97 Nationwide Ferret Survey of State Wildlife Agencies and by writing to:

Ron Jurek
Department of Fish and Game
1416 9th st. #1266
Sacramento, CA 95814

Ferret supports need a large and positive presence at this hearing. I can't emphasize this enough! If you can come, be prepared to make a short statement in support of this issue. If you can't come, you must write to the Commission and have all of your friends, family and ferret veterinarian write as well. They need to know the scope of this issue since the opposition consistently tries to misrepresent this issue as only affecting a very few.

When you testify or write to the Commission, let them know that the inclusion of a single domesticated species in a list of prohibited wildlife makes no sense--even more so when the animal is clearly a safer pet to the environment than a dog or cat. Let them know that the ferret's status as domesticated in irrefutable and is confirmed by 155 zoos, zoological societies and mamalogists. Keeping this domesticated pet in a list of prohibited wildlife criminalizes Californians who own or want to own ferrets. Point out the double standard of organizations like CA Waterfowl whose members own dogs. Dogs cause more harm to the environment and people than ferrets.

Tell the Commission that the law isn't working. That CA pet stores routinely stock ferret supplies and that by the number of folks you know that own ferrets, this law is routinely ignored. A law must be reasonable to be obeyed and this law is unreasonable. It's tantamount to banning dogs in Delaware or cats in Connecticut!

Let the Commissioners know that by removing the single domesticated species (the ferret) from the list of prohibited wildlife will not open the door to sugar gliders, hedgehogs and the like because these animals are not domesticated. These animals are not legal in the rest of the states on the continent. Keeping the ferret in a list of wildlife because of this fear is groundless and only serves to diminish the authority of the Commission and the Department because the public routinely disobeys this law.

If you don't want these organizations and individuals to continue to misrepresent ferrets, and the ferret issue, if you don't want them to choose your domesticated pets for you, then you must come to the meeting and speak up. For those of you who live too far away, you must write to the Commission.

Here's the address:

CA Fish and Game Commission
1416 9th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

Please make a note that you want your letter to be a part of the record on the ferret issue!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


F & G Commission Clarification

2/7/2000

Some of you have written to ask the address again for the Commission. Here are the Commissioners' names and addresses. Same letter will do for each. Essentially, you need to remind the Commission that they have to decide if the domestic ferret is normally domesticated in this state. Of course it is! It's classified as domesticated by 155 zoos, zooligical societies, the Smithsonian Institute, the Museum of Natural History and the Species Indexing System upon which zoos worldwide rely. It is legal in all of the other states on the continent. It should be legal here.

Here are the Commissioners' names and addresses:

Commissioner Theriot
Commissioner Chrisman
Commissioner Schuchat
Fish and Game Commission
1416 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 94244-4899

I would copy a letter to Bob Treanor at the same address. He's the executive director, not a commissioner but he should get a copy I think. Good for you, please ask everyone to pledge 20 friends and family members to write as well.

Some of you are clearly new to this issue. I wish I had the time to answer all of your questions but if you visit the website at http://www.ferretnews.org you can read about the history of our efforts both with the Fish and Game Commission and the Legislature which are two different bodies.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Commission Hearing Results

2/6/2000

Sorry it has taken me a little while to get to this update. The news is very disappointing I'm afraid.

This Commission is composed of only 3 members, not five. One has supported going to notice to consider removing ferrets from the list of prohibited wildlife in the past (Mr. Theriot) but the other two have strong ties to the opposition. Mr. Schuchat has replaced Mr. McGeoghegan who apparently is no longer on the Commission. Mr. Schuchat came from the Planning and Conservation League which opposed our ferret legislative bills. My father spoke to him by phone prior to his appointment to the Commission and was told that the League opposed our bill because they were "asked to by other conservation groups." Mr. Chrisman has ties to the Farm Bureau so this was not a very open-minded Commission.

Without taking the time to recount everyone's presentation, let me just say that my father's presentation covered material from expert third party sources that proved that ferrets are domesticated, and that they have not had an impact on the environment. In fact, all research shows that they cannot live for more than a few days in the wild so the environment is really a threat to the ferret. Yet this was completely dismissed by the Commission when they heard from hired gun (lobbyist) Bill Gains of California Waterfowl who asked that a vote be tabled until the April meeting in Sacramento when Audubon (and perhaps others) could attend.

Interesting enough, UC Davis Wildlife Biologist Dessley Whisson, who has consistently testified against this issue and has grossly misrepresented the facts, came to Long Beach but did not testify. Instead, she appeared to be coaching Bill Gains of CA Waterfowl for his presentation! If anyone has a connection with UC Davis, I think the taxpayers of this state might like to know who paid for Ms. Whisson to attend the hearing. Bill Gains asked that a study be done and that ferret supporters pay for it. That's of course absurd. No one did a study on cats, dogs or any other domesticated pet! He mentioned a "non-biased third party". If he means UC Davis, he's got to be joking. There's not an unbiased bone in the body of the only UC Davis wildlife biologist I've seen at ferret hearings. Even if a study were appropriate, which is most definitely is not, that would be out of the question.

Ferret folks have waited 5 years (since the Commission voted to go to notice in November of 1995). They should not have to wait any longer! But this Commission prefers to bow to the opposition and continue to delay even a consideration of the issue. The whole episode was incredibly ridiculous. The hearing in April will be a sham in my opinion, unless one thing happens-- ferret folks make themselves heard. CFL and other ferret organization will be encouraging everyone in the Sacramento area and beyond to attend this meeting. Those that cannot, must write to the Commission and have their friends and family write as well.

Otherwise, organizations like CA Waterfowl and Audubon, who should have NOTHING to say about which domesticated pet a Californian should choose, will, indeed choose for you.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


FISH AND GAME COMMISSION HEARING UPDATE

1/25/2000

CFL was originally told by Fish and Game to be at the Feb. 3rd hearing at 10:00 AM. That was rescheduled to 1:30 PM. Public testimony is taken at 10:00 AM and can include anything whether it's on the agenda or not. My father called the executive director of the Commission, Robert Treanor, and was told that anything to do with ferrets should be heard at 1:30P.M.

The commission is holding CFL's presentation to 30 minutes which will be given by my father. Anyone else will be speaking as individuals. If you planned on coming at 10:00 A.M. and cannot come at 1:30 P.M., you might want to still come at 10:00 A.M. but be prepared for them to ask you to speak later.

As a reminder, the meeting is at 10:00 A.M. on Feb. 3rd at the Californina State Universtiy, Chancellor's Office Audiortium at 401 Golden Shore in Long Beach.

For those of you who would like to write to the Commission, here are the details:

Address your letters to:

Commissioner Richard Theriot
Commissioner Michael Chrisman
Commissioner Douglas McGeoghegan
Fish and Game Commission
1416 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 94244-4899

We should be arriving in LAX around 11:30! See you there.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Fish and Game Commission Hearing on Ferrets

1/8/2000

Californians, please consider attending the Fish and Game Commission Hearing in Long Beach this Feb. 3rd. My father and I will be making a presentation in support of legalization and I believe it will be beneficial for the Commission to hear from other supporters since this organization is required to consider public testimony.

The meeting is at 10:00 AM at the Californina State Universtiy, Chancellor's Office Audiortium at 401 Golden Shore in Long Beach. If you wish to speak in support of legalization, you will be required to fill out a speakers card (name and perhaps address). Therefore, please do not admit to owning ferrets.

If you decide to come, please introduce yourself to me, I don't get to meet many of the folks I only know via e-mial.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


GET THIS INFORMATION AND USE IT!

10/24/99

I strongly urge you to obtain a copy of the latest Fish and Game survey regarding ferrets. The survey is called:

1996-97 Nationwide Ferret Survey of State Wildlife Agencies

It is available by writing to the person below and requesting a copy:

Ron Jurek
Department of Fish and Game
1416 9th st. #1266
Sacramento, CA 95814

Some of the information (naturally) is incorrect. Jurek states that ferrets are prohibited in 6 states-- CA, HI, NY, NJ, RI and KY except under special conditions. False.

Ferrets are NOT prohibited in 6 states. In fact, NY and KY used to require a permit, easily obtained, but dropped the requirement in the last few years. NJ still requires a permit but in the words of one resident, they're easier to get than tickets to the high school play! We believe permits are still required in RI but are working to verify that. If required, they are also simple to obtain making the statement that ferrets are prohibited ridiculous. Ferrets are prohibited in two states and only two states no matter how much CA tries to portray it differently.

You will see in the survey that there have been NO documented feral ferrets anywhere, anytime in the US. If your State representative cannot connect with the potential loss of a beloved pet for no justifiable reason, perhaps they can relate to the obscene fine that DFG hopes to impose on Fresno ferret owner Mark Johnson-- $17,000.00! This is outrageous! This from an agency that did millions of dollars in environmental damage to Lake Davis! Ferret do not, cannot, and have not harmed the environment and as domesticated animals don't even belong in the hands of a wildlife agency.

Please, Californians, get one or two copies (make extras) of the survey and send it to your State Senator with a letter asking him/her to help change this ridiculous law and bring this rogue agency under some kind of control. Send the survey and a letter to your local paper as well. This absurd situation needs to see the light of day and only you can do that.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Fish And Game Get Agressive in East Bay

10/6/99

Recently a falling out among family members resulted in a visit from Fish and Game for an east bay resident. Though no ferrets were found in her home, pictures of ferrets, samples from a vacuum, and many personal items including social security forms were confiscated. No charges have been filed to date.

Now, an east bay veterinarian's office has been visited by wardens from Fish and Game, presumably in connection with this case. This represents a new high in "ferret aggression" by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). I tell you this with the sincere hope that you don't dive under the blankets and hide. If you do, they win, you lose.

I've attached a file {deleted link} that I want each of you to print out and mail, along with a short, one page letter of your own, to both your State Senator and State Assemblymember. Let him or her know that this survey was done in 1996 with most responses delivered to the department during that year and a few in 1997 yet it was withheld from the legislature, the public and the media by the department until late 1999 when it was obtained by ferret legalization supporters through the Freedom of Information Act.

Why was it withheld? DFG simply didn't like the answers given by all 50 state wildlife departments: NO FERAL FERRETS DOCUMENTED NOW OR IN THE PAST! Most states don't consider the question of feral ferrets even warrants their time. Yet our DFG knows better. In the words of wildlife biologist, Ron Jurek, these other states "don't know if any are there. Some states are unaware of a lot of things." No doubt, Mr. Jurek, there are little green men from Mars running about but we just haven't seen them yet.

Please read the survey carefully and in your own mind substitute dog or cat, or horse or goat or pig or rabbit or burro for ferret and imagine the answers. Even the few stray ferrets found did not live more than a few days outdoors (incredibly 15 states reported no strays, can you imagine that!) I want you all to write a strong letter to your representatives today. Let him or her know that people in California are criminalized for choosing the safest pet to the environment, and the Department of Fish and Game knows it! DFG is confiscating vacuum contents, harassing veterinarians all over a domesticated pet that has more to fear from the environment than the other way around. This has to stop now!

If you don't know who represents you please visit our website at http://www.ferretnews.org. Click on Know Your Local Representative and enter your zip code. You should also send a copy of this survey and a one page letter to the Governor, Gray Davis. His address is:

Governor Davis
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Please write your letters today! Or, visit your representatives in person!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750



Appropriations Committee - Author Cancels Hearing

8/30/99

Sorry to have left a little bit of a hole in the CA ferret legalization information channel but I really needed to get away and was out of touch for the last couple of weeks. Thanks to those of you keeping track of things, and especially hearing observer, Debby G. of Capitol City Ferret Club, the correct information did reach many of you. Thank you Debby.

This is what happened in the Appropriations Committee on August 23rd 1999. A very negative analysis for AB 854 placed the cost of the bill in excess of $140,000.00 which would have placed the bill on suspense where it landed last session. As most of you recall, it never had a hearing once it went on suspense. As unfair as this result is, it was not entirely unexpected, nevertheless it is disappointing.

To avoid having our bill placed in suspense (where it would surely never be heard), our author pulled the bill from Committee making it a two year bill and we will be working with him to see what can be done to see that AB 854, passed by such a large bipartisan majority in the Assembly and by a very bipartisan vote in the Senate policy committee, has it's day in the Senate and comes before the governor. Californians for Ferret Legalization will be meeting with the author of our bill, Assemblymember Jim Cunneen, after the session ends in late September of this year and I will let you know what direction we take at that time.

I ask all of you to continue your support for ferret legalization. This is an example of the worst of government abuse but it will only continue if you let it. Anyone who has not written to his or her State Senator and Governor Davis should still write those letters now. Each of you can so easily ask 5 friends or family members to write as well. Remember that we will prevail only if you remain committed. We can change this ridiculous law if we care enough about ending this absurd ban on the safest pet to the environment-- (goldfish excepted).

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Once Again, CFL Asks for Stamps

7/16/99

Some of you were kind enough to ask if we needed stamps and YES, we do! I bought 1500 stamps of the approximately 2,500 we'll need at a cost of $495.00.

We need an additional 1000 stamps and will spend approximately $150.00-180.00 for photocopying and about $55.00 for envelops.

We also have about $250.00 in fees to pay to our lobbyist for his services over the last few months-- a pittance since that's what he usually charges for just an hour.

Anyone wishing to send first class (33 cent) stamps, or a check, can send it to:

Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road
Woodside, CA 94062

Thanks for your help, we couldn't continue without it.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Senate Natural Resources Vote 7-0 in Favor!

7/14/99

Sorry this has taken a little while to get to you. I had a 20 hr. day yesterday and since I was out of the office all day, I had a few things to take care of before I could get to a report on our hearing.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee (SNR) met at 9:30 A.M. yesterday. Our bill was scheduled #11 (simply in file order) but unfortunately there was a hearing room shortage and Senator Hayden, Chair of SNR recessed the hearings until 6:00 P.M. that evening so another committee could come in. We would have been the very next bill heard so it was very unfortunate for those of us that travelled so far to see it or testify.

Thankfully Debby G. of Capitol City Ferret Club offered us (some of the members of the Golden State Ferret Society and Ferrets Anonymous also came to the hearing) refuge in her air conditioned home!!!

The hearing re-convened at 6:00 but the hearing room still hadn't vacated to we moved to a new location. Technically our bill would have been next but the chair, Senator Hayden, wanted to be present for testimony and was in another committee at that time so about 7:00 or so, AB 854 was heard.

I'm not going to go into all of the details because I'm still pretty zoned but the upshot is that Senator Alpert asked that ferret owners be given 6 months after Jan. 1, 2000 to have their animals vet certified (as vaccinated and spayed & neutered). This must be done then by July 1, 2000 should our bill pass the next committee, the full Senate and the Governor-- still a long way to go!

Language that makes the study look at the effect of the ferret on the environment and one people IN THE CONTEXT OF OTHER DOMESTICATED animals was added to ensure that ferrets are evaluated fairly.

The sentiment was heavily in favor of this bill and our final vote in this nine member committee was 7-0. Senator Johnston and Leslie were absent and did not vote. As soon as I have the time, I'll let you know the details the next committee, Senate Appropriations, and give you the voting history etc. of each member.

If you all recall, our bill was killed in the next committee because it did not have a hearing so we are planning our next mailing to take place the last weekend of July 31st. This mailing will go to supporters in most of the remaining Senate Districts and will be our biggest mailing yet, almost twice the size of previous mailings.

If you live within an hour of the Woodside/Redwood City area and can help me with a mailing on August 1st, please let me know. I plan to have between 12-20 people here so we can get it done quickly. It's easy if lots of folks help out!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Great Analysis!!!!

7/12/99

Today I received a copy of a terrific analysis for our bill AB 854 in the Senate Policy Committee, Senate Natural Resources and Wildlife.

I don't know if this is available on the web anywhere yet, but in part it says:

"In the past, Fish and Game has refused to take the domestic (this word is underlined in the analysis) ferret off the list of wild (also underlined) animals which are illegal to import into California. Officials cite a number of reasons. However, opponents have brought evidence to the committee showing the Department is misinformed on most of the objections to the critters. Right now, domestic ferrets are legal in 48 states. There are no proven examples of domestic ferrets surviving in the wild. THe animals are not especially vicous, with a very low incidence of ferret bites as compared to cat or dog bites."

"However, ferret opponents are rabid in their opposition, saying the animals will threaten native bird populations. The most common analogy used is the introuduction of wild European ferrets into the environment in New Zealand, more than one hundred years ago (another comparison is to the mongoose in Hawaii). Supporters of amnesty say the ferret at issue is a completely different animal, with a number of scientific studies agreeing that Mustela furo is a domesticated animal with very little ability to survive in the wild more than a few days."

"Of the reams of information provided to the committee, it appears that science favors amnesty.... This bill may strike a balance between the two sides, allowing existing pets to stay, while mandating a comprehensive study of the issue."

Pretty excellent!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Senate Natural Resources Hearing

6/23/99

The latest I hear from our author's office is that our bill AB 854 will be heard in the Senate Natural Resources Committee on July 6th. I don't have a time or a room number but I will post that when it is available!

Thank you to the many volunteers that have come to help both with the mailings and with the overwhelming amount of database work! I've been dreaming of something fun to do for once and hope to ask anyone, volunteers or otherwise, interested in getting together for..... are you ready....... FRISBEE GOLF!!!!!

I'd read about it in the SF Chron recently then played once with my brother in LA. It was an absolute hoot. You can't possibly take this game seriously and I have a real need to spend some time outdoors. So.... if anyone in the Bay Area knows where the, or a, Frisbee Golf course is, please let me know so I can check it out and maybe schedule a little fun time with my favorite envelop stuffers.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Senate Natural Resources & Wildlife Committee Members

6/9/99

Our bill, AB 854, will go to the Senate Natural Resources Committee next. This is our most crucial committee and will determine what happens to our bill this year.

Below you will find the members of that committee and if one of them is your Senator, write to him or her now. Please, make the committment and take the time to help your friends, family members, and co-workers in the same district to write as well. If you are not represented by one of these State Senators, please DO NOT write to them. You will only be considered a pest and hurt our chances. The only exception is the chairman, Senator Tom Hayden. All interested parties in CA may write to him because he is committee chair. Please, NO out of state letters to any CA representatives!!! You may think you are helping but unless you have a specific story about trying to move here, you will not help our cause. For those of you outside California who wish to help, write your letters to our governor, Gray Davis at: Governor Gray Davis, Governor's Office, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Californians, remember, you must reside in the district for your letter have any impact on the decision of the members listed below. When you do write, be sure to include your name and address on all correspondence, otherwise your letter or e-mail will not be counted! You will find e-mail addresses below if we have them as well as tel and fax if available. To write to any of the members listed below, simply write Senator followed by their name and this address: State Capitol, Sacramento, CA, 95814. You will also find their ferret voting history listed and if they supported legalization in the past, please thank them for their support. If they voted against legalization, or are a new member, please urge them to decriminalize ferret ownership for these reasons (and please, please always be polite!!!):

  1. Ferrets are domesticated animals and therefore do not belong in the hands of a wildlife agency.
  2. Ferrets are legal in the rest of the contiguous 48 states.
  3. Ferrets are a safer pet to people and the environment than either a cat or a dog. All 50 states report no feral ferrets ever in their states.
  4. The law is not working (tell them to visit a pet store and look at the ferret items on the shelf) and when a law is not working there is usually something very wrong with it.
  5. Banning ferrets is a waste of taxpayer dollars and governmental goodwill.

All Californians should also write to their individual State Senators. To find out the name of your State Senator, Californians can visit our webpage at and go to Legislators - Know your Representatives. Follow instructions for the Senate representatives.

All Californians should also write to our Governor, Gray Davis at: Governor Gray Davis, Governor's Office, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814 to let him know CA citizens have been seriously wronged by the Department of Fish and Game where ferrets are concerned.

California State Senate
Natural Resources Committee

Senator Capitol Office & E-Mail Area Representing Ferret Voting History
Tom Hayden
Chair
Dem 23rd District
TEL: (916) 445-1353
FAX: (916) 324-4823
E-mail: http://www.sen.ca.gov/hayden/opinion.htp
Northern L.A. basin (Santa Monica, Westwood, West L.A., Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Hollywood) and Southern San Fernando Valley (Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Agoura, Westlake Village, Calabasas, and pacific Palisades). Voted YES last session. Please thank Senator Hayden for his support and ask him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.
Dick Monteith
Vice Chair
Rep 12th District
TEL: (916)445-1392
FAX: (916)445-0773
E-mail: senator.monteith@sen.ca.gov
All of Stanislaus County, Merced County, Mariposa County and Tuolomne County with additional areas in Madera, Fresno and San Joaquin counties. Voted YES last session. Please thank Senator Monteith for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.
Dede Alpert
Dem 39th District
TEL: (916)445-3952
FAX: (916)327-2188
E-mail: senator.alpert@sen.ca.gov
Includes the city of San Diego. Extends from La Jolla and Rancho Penasquitos to Imperal Beach and east to El Cajon. Voted YES last session. Please thank Senator Alpert for her support and ask her to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.
Debra Bowen
Dem 28th District
TEL: (916)445-5953
E-mail: senator.bowen@sen.ca.gov
Southwest Los Angeles coastline including the cities of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance and Carson. NEW member to Senate but voted yes while in the Assembly. Please thank Senator Bowen for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.
Maurice Johannessen
Rep 4th District
TEL: (916)445-3353
FAX: (916)445-7750
E-mail: http://www.sen.ca.gov/johannessen/opinion.htp
All of the counties of Siskiyou, Trinity, Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Colusa, Sutter, Yolo and Solano (except for the city of Vallejo), and parts of Butte and Sacramento counties. Voted YES last session. Please thank Senator Johannessen for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.
Patrick Johnston
Dem 5th District
TEL: (916)445-2407
E-mail: senator.johnston@sen.ca.gov
Southern part of Sacramento county and all of San Joaquin county. Voted NO last session. Please ask this member to support ferret legalization.
Tim Leslie
Rep 1st District
TEL: (916) 445-5788
E-mail: senator.leslie@sen.ca.gov
Thirteen rural northeastern counties stretching from the oregon border to Mono County, including the bulk of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and its foothills. Voted YES last session. Please thank Senator Leslie for his support and ask him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.
Byron Sher
Dem 11th District
TEL: (916)445-6747
FAX: (916)323-4529
E-mail: senator.sher@sen.ca.gov
San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and stretches from Belmont to San Jose, including the San Mateo coast and the south San Francisco Bay region. Voted YES last session. Please thank Senator Sher for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to help us pass a fair legalization bill this year.
Holda Solis
Dem 24th District
TEL: (916)445-1418
FAX: (916)445-0485
E-mail: http://www.sen.ca.gov/solis/opinion.htp
Cities of South San Gabriel, La Puente, Monterey Park, El Monte, Glendora, Temple City, Alhambra, Azusa, Irwindale, Rosemead, West Covina, Baldwin Park, Belvedere, East Los Angeles, El Sereno, Hacienda Heights and Industry. Senator Solis has NOT yet voted on a ferret legalization bill. Please ask her to support ferret legalization.

Californians, it's time to get busy! Our bill has always died in the Senate and you must be prepared to work that much harder now. Don't forget to get all of your friends and family members writing as well. Ask the members of this committee to look at this issue fairly and not be misled-- Ferrets Do Not Survive in the Wild Anywhere in the United States. They are a great pet from an environmental point of view, far better than a cat or just about any other pet (goldfish excepted but how can you cuddle one of those?).

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 854 Assembly Final Vote

6/3/99

The final vote in the Assembly on AB 854 was 73-6. Please take a moment to thank your representative for his/her support. Often we write to ask for support then don't follow up with a thank you-- it is important and appreciated!

There were 5 no votes and one absent or abstaining. Please DO NOT write to any of the Assemblymembers that didn't support our bill unless you live in their district and please, if you are represented by someone that voted no and you wish to express your disappointment, do it politely. Absolutely nothing is gained by being rude or agressive and if you are politely passionate, you leave the door open for a change of heart.

Voting No:

Dennis Cardoza--Merced, Modesto...
Richard Dickerson--Shasta, Siskiyou, Trinity...
Dean Florez--Kings County, Fresno, Kern...
Sally Havice--Artesia, Bellflower, Downey...
Sarah Reyes-- Fresno, Visalia, Tulare...

Abstaining or Absent:

Dick Floyd-- Compton, Carson, Wilmington....

Great work everyone but don't get complacent, the Senate has always been more difficult.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 854 Passes Assembly!

5/27/99

Ten minuutes ago, at 8:50 P.M., Karis, from Assemblymember Cunneen's office called to say that AB 854 was called up by the leadership and passed the Assembly floor by a 70-9 vote. The leadership suspended the rules in order to move some bills through quickly and apparently decided to work very late tonight.

I don't have the particulars of the vote yet, so please don't ask me!

Anyway, as you all know, this is a very restrictive bill that has a study requiring an appropriation of funds, and it has a very good chance of dying in the Senate without a ton of hard work from everyone. Go ahead and celebrate tonight (or this weekend), you've earned it, but don't kid yourself about what this vote means in the long run. We've done well in the Assembly before and died in the Senate. Your State Senators need to hear from you and all your friends and family that ferrets should be legalized in CA as they are in the other 48 states.

Thanks for continuing the fight.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 854 Comes Off Suspense, Passes Unanimously

5/26/99

AB 854 came out of the suspense file today and, in the chairwoman's (Assemblymember Carole Migden) words "passed by unanimous bipartisan support".

If your State Assemblymember is on the Appropriations Committee please write a short thank you note to him or her for their YES vote. Thank you's are often forgotten and really are important. Also, please thank the chairwoman (Assemblymember Carole Migden) for her support and for the very fair analysis that came from her committee.

Now, our bill will definitely be voted on by the entire Assembly on or before June 4th. So, if you haven't contacted your Assemblymember yet because you are new to this issue, or, because your Assemblymember was not on either the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, or the Appropriations Committee, please do so immediately.

You can find out who represents you in the State Capitol by visiting our web page at http://www.ferretnews.org and going to the Legislators - Know your Local CA Representatives. Enter your zip code and there you go!

If you want to receive our Ferret Fact Sheet, Ferret Legalization FAQ, and the name and address of your State Senator (we will be in the Senate shortly!!) simply e-mail me your mailing address and I'll send you one.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 854 Appropriations Hearing

5/24/99

AB 854 will be heard in the Appropriations Committee this Wednesday, May 26th. Should it pass, it will then go to the floor sometime between then and June 4th, so if you, your friends, coworkers, and family members haven't contacted your State Assemblymembers, please do so NOW or it will be too late!

You can find out who represents you by visiting the Californians for Ferret Legalization webpage at http://www.ferretnews.org. Go to Legislators - Know your Local California Representative and you will be taken to a Government Search engine where you can enter your zip code and find out. Please don't delay. You can also call us at (650) 851-3750, and if we can help you at that time, we will. If clients are in the studio, I will have to take your information and call you back.

As soon as we pass the Assembly (assuming that we do pass) Californians for Ferret Legalization will be doing first class mailings to all of the people on our and FA's mailing list. If you are not on our mailing list and wish to be (remember, the letter you receive has no reference to ferrets on the outside but inside will tell you the name, address and phone # of your State Senator which makes it very convenient for you!), please let us know where to mail a legalization letter to you. We will begin with the Senate Natural Resources Committee and then the Senate Appropriations and finally the balance of the State Senators.

If you haven't yet contributed to our efforts, please help out by making either a financial donation (so we can buy first class stamps, envelopes, pay for paper and copying to name a few of our costs). Or since they're light, please send some first class (33 cents) stamps to the address below.

Thanks for helping us to keep you informed and to keep this issue alive in the State Legislature.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Suspense file for AB 854?

5/13/99

I found out some astonishing news today. Our goal was to keep our bill out of the suspense file since that is where it died last year. And the first version of our bill said that any money for a study had to come out of existing funds. The author's office and I were unaware that since the Department of Fish and Game has no funds of their own, monies will have to be appropriated for the study. The analysis from the Assembly Appropriations Committee has no choice but to put the cost at over the threshold of $150,000.00. This means that our bill will go to the Assembly Appropriations suspense file. (This Committee is chaired by a supporter, Assemblywoman Migden, so please DO NOT direct any frustrations toward her or the committee). That's the bad news. The good news is that the chairwoman, Carole Midgen, as a supporter of our bill will most likely allow it a hearing unlike the silent death it faced in the Senate. And we do have many supporters on her committee thanks to your great letter writing-- keep it up.

It is clear that we will have to amend our bill to keep it from dying in the Senate so I will need all of you to take a good look at the Senate Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee and see if your State Senator sits on one of those committees. You will have to work very hard in your district (getting letters of support from everyone you possibly can) to make sure that we pass both of those committees with whatever amendment we put in.

You can find out the members of both of these important Senate committees by visiting the Californians for Ferret Legalization page at http://www.ferretnews.org. Scroll down to Legislators- Know your local California representative, and click on that the word Legislators and you will be taken to our page that lets you enter your zip code to find out the name of your Assemblymember and State Senator. If you don't know who represents you, enter your zip code to find out. Then return to the page and go to the link that says "Senator's Home Pages".

This will take you to the California State Senate page and at the bottom will be a link that says Committees. Click on that link and you will go to the page that describes the various committees. The policy committees are described as standing committees so on the left side of the page you will see a link that says "Standing". Click on that and you will see a list of policy committees which includes the Senate Appropriations and Senate Natural Resources Committee. When you click on the committee names you will then see a list of the members, and the areas they represent, and will know if one represents you.

I will be furnishing the same information I have in the last updates about voting history etc. but please don't wait for that. Get active now and enlist the help of your friends and family. If you are active with a ferret club, take the information about your Senator to the next meeting and make sure everyone present is given a copy and knows which Senator is theirs.

This is an example of a situation where it would have been a very big help to be a help to be able to rely more on our professional lobbyist but his time does cost something, and funds are always a consideration. I have to make sure we can mail first class to the people on our mailing list when a committee is about to vote and that is expensive. If you haven't contributed to the effort to legalize ferrets, please consider helping out. Checks can be made out to Californians for Ferret Legalization and sent to the address below.

All of us have to do our part so please, don't think others will do it for you.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Appropriations Hearing

5/12/99

I just received confirmation that the Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing will take place next Wed. May 19th at 9:30 AM in room 4202.

Please write to the Committee chair, Carole Migden, and let her know that very little money needs to be spent on a ferret study-- it's been done already. Tell the chairman that the California Department of Fish and Game did it's own study already in 1996 by writing to all 50 state Departments of Fish and Game in this country. Two questions on this four page survey asked if there were currently or in the past any documented cases of feral ferrets in each state and they survey responses were 50 answers in the negative to both questions!! This survey is a study, the survey by the State of New Hampshire was a study, the survery by the California Domestic Ferret Association was also a study. All the department needs to do is to look in their own records and accept the truth!

Don't consider this committee a done deal! Please write, fax, or e-mail the chairman and to any member that represents your area. Ask your friends and family to do the same. Remember, each letter, fax, or e-mail counts. Be sure to be polite and include your name and address so your representative knows you are a constituent. Please do not write to representatives that are not your own.

See Appropriations Committee Information below.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 854 Passes First Hurdle!

4/20/99

AB 854 passed its first hurdle today, the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. Please see the Bill Information page and click on the Voting link to see how your representative voted.

Please see the following message to find the representatives on the next committee which our bill will be heard, the Assembly Appropriations Committee. No date has yet been set for this hearing.

Scott Beisner
Californians for Ferret Legalization
webmaster@ferretnews.org


A REASON FOR CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM

4/14/99

AB 854 was heard yesterday in the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee but was put over one week so that the author's office, members of the WPW Committee, proponents, and opponents, could work out some of the concerns raised by the Chairman and other committee members. Surprisingly, those concerns were not the usual litany of accusations that "ferrets pose an intolerable threat to the environment", but instead revolved around the fact that this bill wouldn't put the ferret issue to rest for good. In other words, it appears that there is some interest, at least in this committee, of dealing frankly, and hopefully fairly, with the ferrets already in California. So, while the means are not apparent yet, we may see some resolution to a situation that everyone freely admits "won't go away." In fact, it was the Chairman, Assemblymember Machado, who commented that "the opposition has seen the inevitable."

The Chair, along with members Sheila Kuehl, Lou Papan and others referred to the organization, involvement and persistence of ferret proponents in making those crucial contacts to their state representatives. Keep those letters coming and a huge thank you to all of the volunteers and financial supporters of our shoe-string mailing operation. It is not much fun but has its rewards!

Those at the hearing sensed a change of attitude even from some of our staunchest opponents, (at this point that does not include Fish and Game). I mention this cautiously because of so many disappointments under my belt (and yours). As you know, we have passed the Assembly before and must remember that the Senate has been much more difficult for us, so please do not assume that we will prevail without your continued hard work and dedication-- we still face opposition to this bill. If you have not written to your Assemblymember, do so now! To see a list of the current committee members of the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee (WPW), visit our website at http://www.ferretnews.org. As I mentioned before, it is also a good time to write to the governor if you haven't already. Remember, this isn't his doing, so ask for his help. His address is:

Governor Gray Davis
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Last year our bill moved from WPW to the Appropriations Committee. I am not sure if it will take that same road this year but prudence tells me to advise you of the members of that commitee and their voting history so that if one of these representatives is yours, you can write in advance of a possible hearing.

Here are the members of the Appropriations Committee, their contact addresses and their voting history. Please contact only your own representative. Your arguments, once again, are:

1.) Ferrets are domesticated animals and therefore do not belong in the hands of a wildlife agency.

2.) Ferrets are legal in the rest of the contiguous 48 states.

3.) Ferrets are a safer pet to people and the environment than either a cat or a dog.

4.) The law is not working (tell them to visit a pet store and look at the ferret items on the shelf) and when a law is not working there is usually something very wrong with it.

5.) Banning ferrets is a waste of taxpayer dollars and governmental goodwill.

Assembly Appropriations Committee:

Carole Migden, Chair (D-13) Tel(916)319-2013 fax (916)319-2113
e-mail Assemblymember.Migden@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: Eastern half of San Francisco.
Ferret Voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to continue her support.

Marilyn C. Brewer, Vice Chair (R-70) tel(916) 319-2070 fax(916) 319-2170
e-mail a70@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: Orange county's central coast area, including the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa and portions of Laguna Hills, Lake Forest, Santa Ana, Tustin and Aliso Viejo.
Ferret Voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to continue her support.

Roy Ashburn (R-32) tel(916)319-2032 fax(916) 319-2132
e-mail roy.ashburn@assembly.ca.gov
Area representing: Kern &Tulare; counties including Kern River Valley, Bakersfield, Lake Isabella, Lindsay, Porterville, Strathmore, Tulare and Visalia.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support. Assemblymember Ashburn is also on the previous committee WPW so if you've already written you do not need to write to him again.

Bill Campbell (R-71) tel(916)319-2071 fax(916)319-2171
e-mail Assemblyman.Campbell@assembly.ca.gov
Area representing: Cities of Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Orange, Villa Park, portions of Anaheim, Irvine, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Santa Ana, Tustin and comunities of Cota de Caza, North Tustin and Rancho Santa Margarita.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support.

Brett Granlund (R-65) tel(916)319-2065 fax(916)319-2165
e-mail brett.granlund@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: Includes San Bernardino communities of Redlands, Big Bear, Twentynine Palms, Yucaipa, Yucca Valley & Morongo Valley. Encompasses Riverside Co. communities Banning Beaumont, Calimesa, Hemet, Moreno Valley, Riverside and San Jacinto.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support.

Abel Maldonado (R-33) tel(916) 319-2033 fax(916) 319-2133
no e-mail available
Areas representing: San Luis Obispo County and parts of Santa Barbara County north of Gaviota Pass. Includes Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo.
Ferret voting history: New member, needs to hear from his constituents.

Bob Margett (R-59) tel (916)319-2059 fax (916)324-5705
email: a59@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: NE corner of the San Gabirel Valley, iincluding Arcadia, Bradbury, Claremeont, Covina, Duarte, Glendora, La Verne, Monrovia, San Dimas, Sierra Madre, & portions of Azusa, Pomona, Temple City & West Covina.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Also on WPW committee. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support.

Charlene Zettel (R-75) tel (916)319-2075, fax (916)319-2175
no email available
Areas representing: Northern part of San Diego city and east part of San Diego County. Includes Santee, Poway, Ramona, Borrego Springs region.
Ferret Voting history: New to legislature. Needs to know your opinion!

Susan Davis (D-76) tel(916) 319-2076 fax(916) 319-2176
email: davissa@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: Entirely within the City of San Diego, southern border is North Park & Oak Park, norther border is Rancho Penasquitos.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to continue her support.

Sheila James Kuehl (D-41) tel(916) 319-2041 fax (916) 319-2141
email not available
Areas representing: Woodland HIlls, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Agoura Hills, Brentwood, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Encino, Hidden Hills, Reseda, Tarzana, Topanga, West Hills & Westlake Village.
Ferret Voting History: voted yes last session. Sheila Kuehl is a co-author and very supportive, also on WPW committee. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to continue her support.

Louis J. Papan (D-19) tel(916) 319-2019 fax (916) 319-2119
email: a19@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: North part of San Mateo County, including South San Francisco, San Bruno, Millbrae, Burlingame, Hillsborough, Pacifica, Colma, San Mateo and parts of Foster City and Daly City.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support.

Kevin Shelley (D-12) tel(916) 319-2012 fax(916) 319-2112
email: Kevin.Shelley@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: Western portion of San Francisco and part of Daly City.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support

Darrell S. Steinberg (D-9) tel(916) 319-2009 fax(916) 319-2109
email: assemblymember.steinberg@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: City of Sacramento and portions of Sacramento County.
Ferret voting history: New member = needs to know your opinion.

Helen Thomson (D-8) tel(916) 319-2008 fax(916) 319-2108
email: helen.thomson@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: all of Solano County except western Vallejo, most of Yolo County and the delta region of Sacramento County.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Is also on WPW committee.
Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to continue her support.

Roderick Wright (D-48) tel(916) 319-2048 fax(916) 319-2148
email: Assemblymember.Wright@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: South central Los Angeles.
Ferret voting history: Voted no last session. Needs to hear from as many ferret supporters in his district as possible.

Herb Wesson (D-47) tel(916) 319-2047 fax(916) 319-2147
no email available
Areas representing: The Crenshaw District, Culver City, Century City, Baldwin Hills, Windsor Hills, and View Park areas of Los Angeles.
Ferret voting history: voted no on FA survey. New member of legislature. Needs to hear from as many ferret supporters in his district as possible.

Patricia Wiggins (D-7) tel(916) 319-2007 fax(916) 319-2107
no email available
Areas representing: Napa County, Santa Rosa, Sonoma Valley and Vallejo.
Ferret voting history: New member = needs to know your opinion.

Robert M. Hertzberg (D-40) tel(916) 319-2040 fax(916) 319-2140
no email available
Areas representing: Heart of San Fernando Valley, incl. Van Nuys, N. Hollywood, Reseda and Studio City.
Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support.

John Longville (D-62) tel(916) 319-2062 fax(916) 319-2162
email: Assemblymember.Longville@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: Cities of San Bernardino, Rialto, Colton, Grand Terrace, Fontana, Bloomington and parts of Loma Linda.
Ferret voting history: New member = needs to know your opinion.

Gil Cedillo (D-46) tel(916) 319-2046 fax(916) 319-2146
email not available
Areas representing: Central and downtown Los Angeles.
Ferret voting history: New member = needs to know your opinion.

Gloria Romero (D-49) tel(916) 319-2049 fax (916) 319-2049
email: Gloria.Romero@assembly.ca.gov
Areas representing: Cities of Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, Rosemead, El Sereno, City Terrace and surrounding areas.
Ferret voting history: New member = needs to know your opinion.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 854 Hearing 4/13/99

4/12/99

A reminder that the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee will be voting tomorrow on AB 854. Everyone in California should write to the Committee Chairman, Mike Machado at:

Mike Machado, Chairman, Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814 tel(916) 319-2017 fax (916) 319-2117 e-mail: a17@assembly.ca.gov

All Californians (and anyone outside the state who cares to) should also write to Governor Gray Davis at: Governor Gray Davis, Governor's Office, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.

AND, all Californians should now be writing to their Assemblymembers. To find out the name and address of both your State Assemblymember and State Senator, please visit CFL's comprehensive ferret legalizaiton website at http://www.ferretnews.org. Clik on Legislators-- Know your local CA representative and you will be taken to a page that lets you enter your zip code and search for both your state Senator and Assemblymember.

If you're not on our snail mail (actually we mail first class!) list and wish to be notified by mail that your Senator or Assemblymember is about to vote on AB 854, please e-mail me with your name and address.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Anyone Had Their Ferret Seized?

4/8/99

Can anyone who has had their ferrets confiscated and is willing to testify at our hearing in Sacramento please e-mail me. The hearing is Tuesday April 13th in the State Capitol in Sacramento. Your comments must be concise and brief but to the point.

Sorry for the late notice but we just found out about 10 minutes ago that the author might want someone to testify there about the waste of government funds etc.

I don't know the time yet but will let you know when I know something.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


New Bill Introduced for 1999, AB 854!

3/24/99

Our bill, AB 854, is scheduled for the Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee on Tues. April 13th. Below you will find the members of that committee and if one of them is your representative, please write to him or her now-- ask your friends and family members to do the same. The only exception is the chairman, Assemblyman Mike Machado. All interested parties in CA may write to him because he is committee chair-- please, NO out of state letters to any CA representatives!!! For those of you outside California who wish to help, write your letters to our governor, Gray Davis at: Governor Gray Davis, Governor's Office, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Californians, remember, you must reside in the district for your letter have any impact on the decision of the members listed below. Please do NOT send letters to representatives that are not your own. When you do write, be sure to include your name and address on all correspondence, otherwise your letter or e-mail will not be counted! You will find e-mail addresses below if we have them as well as tel and fax. To write to any of the members listed below, simply write Assemblymember followed by their name and this address: State Capitol, Sacramento, CA, 95814. You will also find their ferret voting history listed and if they supported legalization in the past, please thank them for their support. If they voted against legalization, or are a new member, please urge them to decriminalize ferret ownership for these reasons:

1.) Ferrets are domesticated animals and therefore do not belong in the hands of a wildlife agency.

2.) Ferrets are legal in the rest of the contiguous 48 states.

3.) Ferrets are a safer pet to people and the environment than either a cat or a dog.

4.) The law is not working (tell them to visit a pet store and look at the ferret items on the shelf) and when a law is not working there is usually something very wrong with it.

5.) Banning ferrets is a waste of taxpayer dollars and governmental goodwill.

All Californians should also write to their individual Assemblymembers. To find out the name of your State Assemblymember, Californians can visit our webpage at http://www.ferretnews.org and go to http://www.ferretnews.org/legislators.html and the section called legislators/Know your Representatives. Follow instructions for the Assembly representatives.

All Californians should also write to our Governor, Gray Davis at: Governor Gray Davis, Governor's Office, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814 to let him know CA citizens have been seriously wronged by the Department of Fish and Game where ferrets are concerned.

WATER, PARKS AND WILDLIFE COMMITTEE

Mike Machado, Chair (D-17) tel(916) 319-2017 fax (916) 319-2117

e-mail: a17@assembly.ca.gov Area representing: Stockton and he heart of San Joaquin County Ferret voting history: voted no last session. Please ask this member to support ferret legalization.

Dick Dickerson, Vice Chair (R-2) tel(916) 319-2002 fax(916) 319-2102

e-mail: matt.rexroad@asm.ca.gov Area representing: Siskiyou, Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Trinity, Colusa, Sutter, NE Yolo and Southern tip of Butte County Ferret voting history: New Member. Please ask this member to support ferret legalization.

Roy Ashburn (R-32) tel(916)319-2032 fax(916)319-2132

email: roy.ashburn@assembly.ca.gov Area representing: Kern &Tulare; counties including Kern River Valley, Bakersfield, Lake Isabella, Lindsay, Porterville, Strathmore, Tulare and Visalia. Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support.

Bob Margett Rep-59 Tel(916) 319-2059 Fax(916) 319-2159

email: a59@assembly.ca.gov Area representing: NE corner of Arcadia, Bradbury, Claremont, Covina, Duarte, Glendora, La Verne, Monrovia, San Dimas, Sierra Madre, & parts of Azusa, Pomona, Temple City & West Covina. Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support.

Sam Aanestad (R-3) tel(916)319-2003 fax(916)319-2103

email: Assemblymember.Aanestad@assembly.ca.gov Areas representing: Modoc, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Nevada and Yuba counties and most of Butte County. Ferret voting history: New Member. Please ask this member to support ferret legalization.

Peter Frusetta (R-28) tel(916)319-2028 fax(916)319-2128

email: peter.frusetta@assembly.ca.gov Areas representing: Parts of Monterey county, San Benito county, the Watsonville area of Santa Cruz county and part of the southern Santa Clara county. Ferret voting history: voted no last session. Please ask this member to support ferret legalization.

Thomas M. Calderon (D-58) tel(916) 319-2058 fax(916) 319-2158 no email that we know of Areas representing: Southeast portion of Los Angeles county, including cities of Santa Fe Springs, S. El Monte, S. Whittier & Los Nietos. Ferret voting history: New Member. Please ask this member to support ferret legalization.

Dennis Cardoza (D-26) tel(916)319-2026 fax(916)319-2126

email: Dennis.Cardoza@assembly.ca.gov Areas representing: All of Merced county and the western half of Stanislaus county including southern part of Modesto and southwest corner of San Joaquin. Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage him to continue his support.

Sheila James Kuehl (D-41) tel(916)319-2041 fax(916)319-2141

no email that we know of Areas representing: Woodland Hills, Malibu, Pacific Paqlisades, Santa Monica, Agoura Hills, Brentwood, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Encino, Hidden Hills, Reseda, Tarzana, Topanga, West Hills and Westlake Village. Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to continue her support. Assemblymember Kuehl is currently a co-author of our bill.

Virginia Strom-Martin (D-1) tel(916) 319-2001 fax(916) 319-2101

email: a01@assembly.ca.gov Areas representing: Del Norte, Humboldt, Mendocino and Lake counties and Sonoma county north of Santa Rosa. Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to continue her support.

Helen Thomson (D-8) tel(916)319-2008 fax(916)319-2108

email: helen.thomson@assembly.ca.gov Areas representing: All of Solano county except western Vallejo, most of Yolo County and the Delta region of Sacramento County. Ferret voting history: voted yes last session. Please thank this member for supporting ferret legalization and encourage her to continue her support.

Howard Wayne (D-78) tel(916)319-2078 fax(916)319-2178

email: howard.wayne@assembly.ca.gov Areas representing: the coastal district from La Jolla to Imperial Beach including Coronado, Mission Bay, Balboa Park and a large portion of downtown San Diego. Ferret voting history: New Member. Please ask this member to support ferret legalization.

Dean Florez (D-30) tel(916)319-2030 fax(916)319-2130

email: Assemblymember.Florez@assembly.ca.gov Areas representing: Southwestern part of the San Joaquin Valley including all of Kings County and parts of Fresno, Kern and Madera county. Ferret voting history: New Member. Please ask this member to support ferret legalization.

Californians, it's time to get busy!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Your Help Needed

2/20/99

In anticipation of our bill (and the very big workload that accompanies it), I'm asking those of you in Northern CA within an hour's drive of the Redwood City/Woodside area, to let me know if you can volunteer to be on our mailing committee. Please e-mail me with your home and work phone so I can get ahold of you on short notice if necessary, I really need your help this year.

What we do is meet either on a weekend or after work to prepare district mailings to everyone in specific Senate or Assembly districts when the bill is either about to be in committee or on the floor for a vote. I have the labels already printed for exact number of ferret fans in each of the different representatives districts we are mailing to. Each person receives a very specific letter letting him/her know the name and address of the representative and the fact that he/she is about to vote on this issue. So, much of the work is done ahead of time but the mailing itself still takes some time to do.

Ineed volunteers to fold the lettters, insert them in their respective envelops, stamp our return address and apply postage. Generally we have anywhere from 1,000-1,800 that go out each time. I really need more volunteer help this session (I can't keep this up forever), so please find the time to volunteer-- this issue affects you too!

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Ferrets Anonymous Round UP

2/19/99

My friends at Ferrets Anonymous asked me to resend this {deleted link} with the additional contact information at the top. I hope many of you will come, it will be great to meet you and an important event for FA in Northern CA.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


CALIFORNIANS, PLEASE WRITE GOV. DAVIS NOW!!!

2/18/99

This article appeared in the SF Chronicle. Clearly DFG is a mess, needs a good director and needs to get out of the domesticated pet (ferret) business.

Please write Governor Davis NOW to help him clue in the new director. Don't miss this opportunity to make a difference. His address is below:

Governor Gray Davis
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone (916) 445-2841
Fax (916) 445-4633

Glen Martin, Chronicle Staff Writer Tuesday, February 16, 1999

-------------------------------------------------------------

It was once among the drowsiest of Sacramento's sleepy hollows, an agency that required little of its directors beyond a love of fishing and hunting and an ability to communicate with good old boys who loved the same things.

But these days the California Department of Fish and Game seethes with intrigue, with at least five candidates vying for the directorship. So politically charged is the situation that Governor Gray Davis has informed his secretary of Resources, who usually chooses the head of Fish and Game, that he is going to make the call himself.

Why the change? The simplest and most compelling of reasons: power.

During the past two decades, a tremendous amount of latent power has accrued to the agency, thanks to tougher water- and land-use regulations. Fish and Game now calls the shots on state laws dealing with endangered species and water pollution. That means it theoretically can stop housing developments, shut down logging operations and demand expensive cleanups from industry.

But during the administrations of former Governors George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson, the department took an almost passive role, sticking to its historic ``duck cop'' mandate: arresting poachers and citing anglers for fishing without licenses.

Now, with the election of Davis, conservationists are hankering to get an environmental activist into the department's top slot -- and farmers and developers are running scared.

``The department is being forced into a more activist role for two reasons,'' said Zeke Grader, the executive director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, a commercial fishing lobbying group.

Beyond being given more responsibility through legislation over the past two decades, he said, the department ``is being forced to enforce many of those laws due to legal suits from private groups demanding such things as the proper review of timber harvest plans and oversight of minimum flows in rivers for fish.''

Grader said that aggressive Fish and Game biologists and wardens were muzzled during the past two administrations and that many are eager to cast off their restraints and actively enforce pollution and land-use laws.

Michael Paparian, a senior representative of the Sierra Club, said Fish and Game ``has been at the center of a huge number of environmental controversies during the past several years, and that will continue.''

``The problem has been,'' Paparian said, ``that (department staff members) have been forced to be apologists for misguided policies coming out of the governor's office. Wilson in particular had real disdain for endangered species.''

Farmers see it differently, praising the Fish and Game of the past two administrations as reasonable and realistic, willing to strike a balance between environmental and economic needs.

George Gough, vice president of government relations for the California Cattlemen's Association, said good laws were passed under the Wilson administration that prevented excessive regulation by Fish and Game agents.

``We strongly favored a law that only allowed biologists on private land in the presence of a warden,'' Gough said.

Before the legislation passed, said Gough, biologists could investigate supposed violations of land-use and water pollution laws on rumor rather than solid probable cause.

``The rights of private property owners shouldn't be violated on a whim,'' Gough said. ``You wouldn't want a cop entering your house just because he heard something. After 16 years (of Republican administrations), we're worried we might end up with a director who doesn't understand that.''

Developers, too, are worried about an environmental true believer taking over the reins at Fish and Game.

``It would be really troublesome to see an environmental activist in there who would take the department in a different direction,'' said Robert Rivinius, the chief executive officer of the California Building Industry Association, which represents 5,500 developers and contractors. ``We need someone who will take a balanced approach.''

The director of Fish and Game is typically chosen by the state secretary of Resources, who oversees the department. But Davis has informed Mary Nichols, his recently appointed Resources secretary, that he intends to make the appointment himself.

Nichols, who has strong environmental credentials, was recently overruled by Davis when she attempted to rescind a legal brief issued by Wilson in a federal case involving state water. The brief favored farmers over environmentalists, and Davis reinstated it after amending it slightly.

That has conservationists and some legislators worried about Davis' ultimate pick for the Fish and Game director.

``The governor has made it clear that he is the guy who makes decisions where controversial issues are concerned,'' said state Senator Byron Sher, D-Palo Alto, who usually sides with environmentalists on legislation. ``I don't want to get panicked yet, but I hope that he takes the opinions of his appointees into consideration on these kinds of matters.''

Insiders say that five candidates are under serious consideration: former Democratic state Senator Dan McCorquodale, past Democratic state Assemblyman Dan Hauser, Sausalito fisheries biologist Bill Kier, Sonoma County Supervisor Tim Smith and Bill Yeates, a founder of the Mountain Lion Foundation in Sacramento.

All bring political assets and liabilities to the chase.

-- Hauser pleases many environmentalists, although some are unhappy with his support of the timber industry, which figures strongly in the economy of the district he once represented.

-- Kier is considered a stalwart champion of endangered species, but he is sometimes too candid, even brusque, for the tastes of some politicians.

-- Smith is the favorite of developers and farmers but is loathed by conservationists, who condemn his support of gravel mining interests on the Russian River.

-- Yeates has strong environmental support and is a particular favorite of animal rights advocates, but is viewed with suspicion by sportsmen, who feel he may not be sympathetic to hunting.

Most handicappers are giving the odds to McCorquodale, an avid outdoorsman who also compiled a strong environmental record in the Assembly.

Michael Bustamante, Davis' spokesman, does not discuss the subject beyond confirming that the governor will make the final decision.

``There has been tremendous interest in all the appointments the governor will make,'' Bustamante said. ``We've received thousands of resumes. But the only person who knows with any certainty who has the inside track on any of them is the governor.''

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


CA Alert - Contra Costa Times DFG article

2/10/99

It's really not too early to write to the new Governor and let him know how, under several Republican administrations, the CA Department of Fish and Game has run roughshod over the rights of Californians to make their own choice of domesticated pets. This agency is a disgrace from the ferret issue to the poisoning of Lake Davis, to the latest internal survey of DFG personnel revealing overwhelming dissatisfaction with the way the agency makes decisions -- they're not based on science but on politics.

Please take a moment to write a polite letter to Governor Davis asking him to take a very hard look at the fact that ferrets are legal in 48 states! What's different here is not the animal or the people but the Department of Fish and Game! Tell Governor Davis that ferrets should have been legalized a long time ago and that he should take a good look at this agency's behavior on this and many other issues -- their bad behavior on the ferret issue is just one symptom of a very debilitating disease.

At the end of this e-mail I'm including the Contra Costa Times Article that really condemns this agency for what it is-- a rogue agency that bullies not only the citizens of this state but also any employee that disagrees with it's bad policy decisions.

Here's Governor Davis' address:

Governor Gray Davis
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Please write to the Governor now. He needs to know this problem has been around for a long time and he can do something about it.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

Here's the Contra Costa Times Article:

Published on January 20, 1999

Agency survey says politics limits wildlife protection

-- Poll finds many Fish and Game employees believe morale is low; group's director disputes results

By Carolyn Mcmillan

California's Department of Fish and Game has allowed politics to trump efforts to protect the state's wildlife, often ignoring recommendations of its own biologists and game wardens, according to a survey of department employees released Tuesday.

Two-thirds of employees said during the Wilson administration agency permits, policy development and enforcement decisions were not based on the best scientific information.

The survey was conducted by a national environmental organization of state and federal employees.

An even higher margin -- 81 percent -- said politics influenced scientific evaluations. The survey also uncovered poor employee morale, with more than a third of respondents saying they feared job-related retaliation for advocating environmental enforcement.

The questionnaire was sent to 1,600 agency employees in early fall. About a third of the staff responded, according to Jeffrey Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

At every level of the department, in every division, DFG employees paint a bleak picture of an agency that has lost its focus on wildlife protection, he said. The professionals aren't being allowed to do their jobs. Fish and Game used to be considered a nonpartisan island.

Agency director Jacqueline Schafer, a Wilson appointee who took charge of the department in February 1996, disputed the survey's characterization of the department.

We have not had a politicized department during my watch, she said. I've encouraged people to do the job and tried to give them the tools they needed to do it with. I think I'm leaving here with the department in better shape than when I came in.

Under her tenure, the agency secured money from the state to pay for a 10-person poaching strike team, filled all game warden vacancies and boosted the budget from $165 million to $214 million, she said.

The survey results come only from those employees who chose to respond. High levels of dissatisfaction might be attributed, in part, to the fact that employees have not had a raise since 1994, Schafer said.

There may be biases with people who choose to respond to a survey -- people who are frustrated. That's human nature, she said.

The questionnaire also found that 35 percent of game wardens said agency managers had inappropriately intervened in criminal investigations. A fifth said they had been ordered to disobey or disregard environmental statutes or violations.

The employees' group that published the survey results could only cite a single instance of such management interference. In that 1995 case, a supervising biologist for the Delta region was ordered to issue an illegal permit for building a pier on a Solano County island. The biologist was transferred to a new assignment after bringing a criminal complaint to the county district attorney's office. He later won a confidential settlement.

When (management interference) occurs, the individuals are very reluctant to bring it forward in fear of reprisals. That's why it's in the survey -- because the confidentiality and anonymity was there so they felt they could go ahead and speak, said Dave Gardner, president of the Fish and Game Wardens Association.

--------------------
Address of original story:
http://www.hotcoco.com/news/statfront/rml60291.htm
(c) 1998 Contra Costa Newspapers


Native Species Network Promotes Falsehoods

2/9/99

A group founded in CA in 1995 called the Native Species Network (NSN) is apparently (sadly) a mouthpiece for CA Department of Fish and Game misinformation on the ferret issue. You can find DFG ferret fictions on the NSN website http://www.ncal.verio.com/~nsn/. This is just a note to Californians to make sure that neither you nor your friends, families or co- workers give any money to this kind of non-scientific, obviously very political organization.

The fact that NSN has done no homework on the ferret issue can be seen in the fact that they offer the entire Office of Technology Report (OTA) for downloading from their website. This is a Congressional report, the result of a 3 year study, that found NO FERAL FERRETS in the United States, yet it did list feral dogs, cats, horses, goats, pigs, sheep, rabbits, and burros.

So, this non-scientific group, which is simply a mouthpiece for our Department of Fish and Game, would prefer that Californians get a cat, dog, horse, goat, pig, sheep, rabbit or burro (which have all demonstrated an ability to live ferally and impact native wildlife, according to the OTA report) instead of a ferret which has demonstrated an inability to do so. Go figure.

I'm not going to take the time to reply to them and neither should you but spread the word-- this group doesn't deserve anyone's support because they're positions are non-scientific, inaccurate and therefore unimportant.

And remember, this is why you all must write to both your State Senators and Assemblymembers to legalize ferrets in California.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


CA DFG Blasted by Survey

1/24/99

Just thought you might enjoy reading about a survey blasting DFG. Who was surveyed? DFG EMPLOYEES!!!

"Two-thirds of employees said during the Wilson administration agency permits, policy development and enforcement decisions were not based on the best scientific information."

This describes the ferret situation in CA EXACTLY!!!

"An even higher margin -- 81 percent -- said politics influenced scientific evaluations. The survey also uncovered poor employee morale, with more than a third of respondents saying they feared job-related retaliation for advocating environmental enforcement."

So the many, many wildlife biologists and wardens within the department that support legalization (and I know for a fact that there are quite a few) risk reprisal for stating a dissenting opinion. That's a great motivator for change isn't it?

Those of you in CA should copy this story and mail it to your State Senator and State Assemblymember and tell them that this is the reason ferrets are still illegal in CA and that this agency needs to be completely cleaned up!

To read more about the results of the survey (absolutely not surprising to anyone who knows this horrible agency), visit the address of original story: http://www.hotcoco.com/news/statfront/rml60291.htm
All quotes (c) 1998 Contra Costa Newspapers

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Help With the Senate

11/25/98

Just a reminder that we need a CA volunteer who is comfortable forwarding information the State Senator in the following Senate Districts. Please check to see if one of these state senators represents you and let me know if you will contact your representative on behalf of legalizing ferrets. I will need your mailing address (and so will the State Senator in order to know that you are a constituent):

Senator Richard Alarcon District#20 Greater San Fernando Valley
Senator Joe Baca District #32 Pomona and San Bernardino
Senator Jim Brulte District #31 Redlands, Yucaipa, Big Bear and 29 Palms
plus Moreno Valley and Hemet
Senator Jim Costa District #16 Fresno, Kern, Madera and Tulare counties
Senator Teresa Hughes District #25 Inglewood, Hawthorne, Gardena Lawndale,
Compton etc.-- I may have someone who
volunteered but I can't remember. If you
volunteered please remind me.
Senator Patrick Johnston District #5 Southern Sacramento and San Joaquin County
Senator David Kelley District # 37 Rural San Diego county, Imperial county and
eastern Riverside, Poway Hemet Blythe and
Palm Springs
Senator William Knight District #17 Mojave, Inyo county southern Kern county
northen San Bernardino county and part of LA
Senator Tim Leslie District #1 From the Oregon Border south to Mono County
Senator John Lewis District #33 Orange county communities of Orange, Tustin
eastern Anaheim, Fullerton, La Habra, Yorba
Linda, Mission Viejo Brea, Buena Park etc.
Senator Dick Monteith District #12 Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa, Tuolumne counties
Senator Bill Morrow District #38 Northern San Diego County and South coastal
Orange County
Senator Kevin Murray District #26 East LA to South LA including Culver City and
Crenshaw
Senator Jack O'Connell District #18 Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo
Senator Steve Peace District #40 Downtwon San Diego with Chula Vista, National
City Lemon Grove, El Cajon and La Mesa
Senator Don Perata District #9 Oakland, Richmond, San Pablo, El Cerrito
Berkeley, Alameda
Senator Richard Polanco District #22 East Los Angeles
Senator Charles Poochigian District #14 Fresno and Tulare
Senator Adam Schiff District #21 North of downtown LA includes Pasadena
La Canada, Flintridge, Sunland, San Marino
Senator Hilda Solis District #24 South San Gabriel, La Puente, Monterey Park,
El Monte
Senator Cathie Wright District #19 Northwest corner of Los Angeles county and
Ventura county including Oxnard

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Ann Landers and other news

11/25/98

I received a call from the Bakersfield Californian about the Ann Landers column. Someone had forwarded my response to Ann's letter and since it concerned one of their readers (Delano, CA is in their distribution area). My response, I'm told, will run sometime in the middle to end of next week so I would really appreciate it if someone in that area will send me a copy. The reporter, Don King, asked for a head and shoulders photo to run with it but I haven't had my picture taken formally since high school. I told him I had this great shot of me holding a 17lb. steelhead from British Columbia (catch and release flyfishing is something I love to do) but that didn't sound suitable. He laughed. I gave him permission to run the jailhouse ferret from our website if he wished. His was the second news organization in the last few weeks to make such a request.

Anyone know any good photographers out there? :)

We also had a terrific write up in the UC San Diego School of Law newspaper called Motions. It was written by Curtis and Kristin Crews. I don't know if they have a website but it was very positive.

Sometime soon the SF Weekly will also do a story-- things are a happenin'.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


CFL Response to Ann Landers

11/24/98

To those of you who let me know about the Ann Landers comments, thank you very much. Here is my response for CFL. If you plan to write, please do so, but remember she may not be so prejudiced as ignorant. Ann's comments can still be viewed at:

http://www2.startribune.com/cgibin/stOnLine/article?thisStory=60693368

Ann Landers
P.O. Box 11562
Chicago, IL 60611-0562

Dear Ann,

I was very disappointed with your response to a recent writer from California who had his pet ferrets confiscated by the Department of Fish and Game. Your answer appeared to be based on the premise that every law is good, valid, and therefore worthy of our respect. History (the civil rights struggle, internment of Japanese citizens during WWII), and even a cursory look at the ferret ban in California, tells us not only that this is not so. We must always be vigilant of the boundaries of good government-- lest it become bad government.

I thought I would take a moment to let you know that ferrets are domesticated family pets, legal in every other state on the continent, and virtually every country in the world. Like dogs and cats, they were first domesticated in Europe or Asia and brought here with this country's earliest settlers some 200 years ago. This long tenure has revealed some interesting facts:

Domesticated ferrets are not responsible for swamping humane facilities as have dogs and cats (most are altered prior to sexual maturity and are therefore never bred). Ferrets are not responsible for some 800,000 visits to the hospital each year by dog bite victims (statistics from Centers for Disease Control show they are 200 times less likely to bite on a per capita animal basis than are dogs). Ferrets are not responsible for killing millions of small wild animals as feral cats do across the country each year (50 state departments of Fish and Game report no feral ferrets in their state).

Please do not misunderstand my comments. I love all animals and do not intend to inflame any emotions against cats or dogs. I simply want to put this diminutive and delicate pet in its proper perspective: The domesticated ferret should not be vilified, it should not be banned. Nor should it be promoted over another domesticated pet-- that decision is a family or individual decision and should be made on unbiased, factual information, not pet store hype.

California's ferret ban makes about as much sense, and is about as effective, as a dog ban in Delaware or a cat ban in Colorado. The Department of Fish and Game's own 1989 estimate of 500,00 ferrets in California is the most compelling testament to the simple tenet that a law has to be reasonable to be obeyed. This may have been one reason why a bill to legalize ferrets in California passed the Assembly by a landslide and bi-partisan 64-8 vote!

Thank you for allowing me to shed some light on our struggle to allow Californians to do what the rest of the country can do with impunity: love their pets openly and without fear of persecution.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Carley
Co-Founder

P.S. I am enclosing a USDA letter classifying ferrets as domesticated, a recent article in the SF Chronicle regarding dog bites, and some information about the ferret's inability to survive outdoors.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Senate Contacts

11/11/98

We need important information (ferret facts that we've compiled) to go to each state senator via a constituent. I'm looking for volunteers comfortable enough to make direct contact with the state senator that represents your district via mail (including your address so he/she knows you are a constituent). Hopefully all of you are comfortable enough to at least write a letter. But this may involve a meeting with the senator and others in your area.

We may already have someone in your area but if you are interested, please e- mail me with your mailing address and the name of your Senator, if you know it, so that I can see where we need extra help.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


California Ferret Food And Other Ads

11/9/98

I need you to help me with something. You know how often you've seen ads in your local paper, or been sent a flyer, with a special on ferret food, or maybe a ferret starter kit (cage, litter pan, etc.) from your local pet store or one of the chains. Well, I want you to cut those ads out of your paper, write the name of the newspaper on the ad, and the date of the ad and send the original to me at the address below.

DFG is trying to make a claim that there really aren't as many ferrets here as THEY originally estimated years ago and I want to show that are enough to warrant ads by pet stores for ferret items. This will also show that their ridiculous ban is not working and will never work. Please, all of you, send me those ads!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Californians, Please Vote!

11/1/98

Hopefully you have an idea how the candidates stand in your district on ferret legalization. If not, contact their respective campaign offices and ask! Check the candidate section (excellent job) in the Ferrets Anonymous newsletter for responses. Remember, if a candidate didn't respond this year but voted for last year it probably means that they will support legalization again next year.

As for the governor's race, well, the victor seems clear but his position is not. Only the Libertarian party candidate came out in support of legalization.

There are two propositions on the ballot that deserve your special attention. The following information is from Paw Pac. I hope that, as animal lovers, you will support them both.

Proposition 4. Trapping and Poisons. Support. Bans fur trapping, the steel jawed trap, selling pelts, and Compound 1080 and sodium cyanide poisons. Sponsored by ProPAW, a coalition which includes The Fund for Animals. For information, contact ProPAW: 310/441-4499. Fax: 310/441-4599. Web site: www.volunteerinfo.org/propaw

Proposition 6. Horse Slaughter. Support. Bans the slaughter of horses and sale of horse meat for human consumption. For information, contact Save the Horses: 818/771-0702. Fax: 818/768-7744. Web site: www.savethehorses.com

Please vote Tuesday! If you want a voice in the destiny of ferret legalization, here is your chance.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Disappointment in San Francisco

10/12/98

The San Francisco Animal Welfare and Control Commission voted to not send a message of support for ferret legalization at this time to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors by a vote of 6-4. Californians for Ferret Legalization (CFL) delivered over 20lbs. of documents to each Commissioner proving that ferrets are domesticated, and that they pose less of a threat to the environment than cats and less of a threat to people than dogs. The authoritative sources of information in these packets included the United States Department of Agriculture, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA), the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and other State Departments of Fish and Game. Though invited by the Commission to make a presentation, neither the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) nor the California Department of Public Health (DHS) sent representatives to defend their positions.

The deep prejudices and long misinformation campaign against the ferret was clearly evident at these hearings when, in spite of overwhelming documentation, one Public Health Department Commissioner was swayed by the DHS arguments against ferret legalization. Statistics provided the Commission from JAVMA and CDC prove that ferrets are a much safer pet than dogs. Another Commissioner was apparently swayed by DFG's completely insupportable argument that ferrets pose a significant threat to wildlife. Some Commissioners expressed a concern that ferrets would be abused or abandoned and preferred to keep the ban rather than encourage ferret ownership via legalization. CFL argued that Californians will chose ferrets regardless of their legal status, and that the ban institutionalizes abuse since most ferrets confiscated by officials are well loved and well cared for family pets. Several San Franciscans testified about the effect of the ban on owners including fear of taking their pet to the veterinarian, and blackmail by those whose intention is to gain the upper hand in any kind of dispute.

One of the most revealing moments of ferret misinformation came when one Commissioner said that her vote against the issue was based in part on the belief that keeping ferrets illegal in California prevented them from suffering in the animal research market in this state. CFL pointed out that she was very much mistaken. Research institutions can and do obtain yearly permits to import and possess thousands of ferrets in California as long as those ferrets will die in medical experiments. In other words, the State of California sanctions the importation of ferrets into this state as long as it will be killed here but refuses to allow them to be kept here if they are simply going to be loved here.

One Commissioner took the results of a survey by STAR* Ferrets completely out of context to warn that over 4,000 ferrets were in U.S. shelters. What she didn't mention was that the figure represented ferret shelters, about 100 of them-- ferrets rarely go to municipal shelters. This represents an average of 40 animals per shelter compared to thousands and even tens of thousands of cats and dogs in individual shelters across the U.S. In the same paragraph of the survey results, STAR* reported that a mere 408 US ferrets of those reported in shelters were unaltered. This means a 90% spay/neuter ratio for ferrets across the US where most states that have no mandated spay/neuter requirement! But of course that information doesn't help to maintain the prevailing bias. Neither does the 94.6% adoption ratio also reported by STAR*.

This same Commissioner said that ferret owners were law breakers-- as if proponents were automatically tarnished for opposing an infallible law. We would like to remind her and others that our government has been wrong on occasions, very wrong. Women and blacks had to fight for equal footing in our society including such basic rights as the right to vote. And our government not only interned, but seized the property of Japanese American citizens during WWII.

Clearly the vote was disappointing but it was also revealing of the prejudices held by some against this innocent domesticated pet. And unfortunately in most cases of prejudice, no amount of documentation or factual information can prevail upon those who hold them.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


San Francisco Sanctuary Hearing and Vote

9/6/98

This letter and another 12 lbs. of documentation (approximately one pound per commissioner) were sent to the San Francisco Commission on Animal Control and Welfare in preparation for the next hearing and vote. This Commission has the information they need to do the right thing, but it will take a lot of strength to buck state law so I realize it may be a long shot. In any case, the hearing is open for public commentary. Californians for Ferret Legalization did a mailing to all of our San Francisco contacts to let them know that they must add their voices in support of the idea of a San Francisco ferret sanctuary if it is to become a reality.

If you live or work in San Francisco, please attend the September 10th hearing at the Taraval police station at the corner of 24th and Taraval in San Francisco. The meeting starts at 5:30 P.M. in the Community meeting room. To make a difference you must be prepared to voice your positive opinion of the need for a ferret sanctuary in San Francisco.

Jeanne

August 24, 1998

Dear Commissioner,

Enclosed you will find proof of the domesticated ferret's relative safety as a companion animal, especially as compared to dogs. You will also find a letter of support for ferret legalization from the California Animal Control Director's Association (CACDA). No other organization would find itself more on the front lines with ferrets once they are legalized than CACDA, yet they know that the concerns expressed by the opposition are unfounded, and that Californians will continue to choose a ferret in spite of the law because they know the law is wrong.

Forty-eight states permit ferret ownership, most of them without restriction of any kind. Please take a moment to review the statement of Governor William Weld on the day he legalized ferrets in Massachusetts. Echoing his comments are the words of the governor of New Hampshire in proclaiming ferret awareness and appreciation day in her state. Yet if you believe our Department of Fish and Game orHealth Services, can we be talking about the same animal?

Commissioners, this is the same domesticated companion animal legal in 48 states, the same domesticated companion animal celebrated by State Proclamation in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the same domesticated companion animal that brings joy to millions of Americans, hundreds of thousands of Californians and hundreds, at the very least, of people living in San Francisco. What's different here is not the animal or its owners, but the agency behind the opposition to ferret legalization, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG).

The few states that shared California's prohibition on ferrets all overturned their prohibitions in the late 1980's and early 1990's with the complete support of their respective wildlife agencies. Our DFG meanwhile has misrepresented the animal and its supporters to all who will listen. Take a careful look at the memorandum from DFG to the Fish and Game Commission regarding ferrets. DFG claimed ferrets severely impacted terns in Massachusetts, yet Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife said they told CA DFG the exact opposite! It is just one example of the egregious misinformation campaign waged against the ferret, against fact, against science, and against the very citizens of this state by an agency clearly out of control.

California's citizens have supplied you with the documents to prove our case. Hold the opponents of ferret legalization to the standards to which we've held ourselves. Make them prove their case. Make them prove that ferrets are wild animals, make them prove that ferrets are a greater threat to people than dogs and a greater threat to wildlife than cats. We recognize that you and many others may not choose to share your home with the domesticated ferret. But this wonderful little pet does make many San Franciscans very happy. Grant them and their tiny domesticated companion animals the safe haven they rightfully deserve. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


California Legislative Update

9/5/98

Sadly our bill to legalize ferrets, AB 363, died a few days ago. The bill failed because one State Senator, Patrick Johnston (D-Stockton), refused to allow it a hearing in his committee. We believe we had the votes to pass this committee easily which is one of the reasons Senator Johnston never allowed it to come up. As you recall, AB 363 passed the California State Assembly by a huge bi-partisan majority (64-8) and mandated spay/neuter and rabies vaccination for CA ferrets. It then went to the Senate where difficult amendments were taken that would have grandfathered (legalized) the ferrets already here in CA while the state undertook a study. No study is necessary, but Californians for Ferret Legalization (CFL) supported AB 363 since so many ferrets and their owners (500,000+ ferrets) would have regained some peace of mind from overzealous authorities at Fish and Game.

The opposition knows that a ferret legalization bill can pass the state legislature. That's why another bill, AB 409, was introduced to keep our issue out of the legislature (thankfully it failed). AB 409 would have given the Fish and Game Commission complete authority to consider the ferret issue, and would have required them to legalize ferrets only if it could be shown that there would be no impact on people or the environment. Dogs and cats impact both far more than ferrets ever will, but the CA Department of Fish and Game wants to ensure that ferrets are never allowed to be legalized. Don't let them get away with this! Help out, get involved! Take a moment to write to both of your State lawmakers, Assembly and Senate, and tell them how disappointed you are that ferrets were not legalized this year. Thank them if they supported ferret legalization. It is also time to contact those candidates running for state office in your area as well as both candidates for Governor. Tell them how important this issue is for you and that you want to know their position on ferret legalization prior to Nov. 2nd.

Another reason AB 363 became bogged down in the Senate was due to the opposition from the Audubon Society and Sierra Club. Please write to both organizations, the addresses are below. Their opposition condones the imposition of a fine and/or jail sentence on ferret owners for choosing a domesticated pet that is safer to the environment than a cat, and safer to people than a dog. Fight back! Don't give money to or join either organization and tell your friends to do the same.

Two final requests. First, it's time to thank our author Jan Goldsmith who is departing the legislature this year. Jan has cared deeply and worked very hard on ferret legalization for the last five years and he deserves our warmest appreciation. His address is given below. Secondly, I hope you will consider a donation to Californians For Ferret Legalization. We have represented this issue in the legislature for the last 4 years and will be introducing another bill next year (the opposition needs to know we will never give up). We must be ready financially to take up the banner again. Help us cover our costs which include a lobbyist in Sacramento, first class mailings, phone, broadcast faxes, copying and much more. Since Californians For Ferret Legalization spearheaded this movement, we've come further than ever before. We need to be able to continue these efforts on your behalf if ferrets are to become legalized soon. Please help us to help you. Send your donation to the address below. Help us to keep this issue alive.

Jan Goldsmith's address is: Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith, 12307 Oak Knoll Suite A, Poway, CA 92064.

Sierra Club and Audubon Addresses are:

Charles McGrady, President
Sierra Club
85 2nd Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

John Flicker, President
National Audubon Society
700 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

Thank you for your continued efforts. Without your support, letters, faxes and e-mails, we would have no chance of success.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


SAN FRANCISCAN FERRET SANCTUARY DEPENDS UPON YOU!

8/22/98

Hello ferret enthusiasts living and working in the SF area,

On Sept. 10th at 5:30 P.M. at the community meeting room at the SF police station located at 24th and Taraval, the SF Animal Control and Welfare Commission will meet to hear consider recommending to the board of supervisors that the city of San Francisco make itself safe for hundreds of resident domesticated ferrets and their owners.

Last month I gave a presentation supporting this idea based on the fact that ferrets are a domesticated pet, just like cats and dogs, but pose less of a threat to the environment or people than cats, dogs and most other pets. The Commission was furnished with documents from 3rd party experts proving that my statements were accurate. These experts included the Centers for Disease Control, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (addressing the relative safety of ferrets to people), the Smithsonian Institute, Museum of Natural History, and the United States Department of Agriculture (addressing the fact that ferrets are domesticated), and the Office of Technology Assessment, California Research Bureau and all 50 state departments of Fish and Game (addressing the ferret's inability to go feral).

A representative from the Audubon Society, WITHOUT A SINGLE SHRED OF EVIDENCE, made wild accusations that ferrets pose a significant danger to birds and other mammals (there's never been a documented feral population of ferrets in the US-- the environment poses a significant danger to the ferret) and suggested that citizens wanting to see ferrets legalized get a cat (or dog) instead! And, again with no evidence to back his claim, this representative of Audubon told the Commission that our efforts to legalize the ferret in California were funded by the pet industry and commercial breeders! As you know, nothing is further from the truth. Californians for Ferret Legalization has never received one dime from any member of the pet industry, or any commercial ferret breeder. We've relied solely on the support of the individuals we represent-- you. So, without scientific justification for their position that ferrets are a problem of any kind, Audubon lowered itself to misrepresent the organization, the individuals, and the very nature of the companion animal behind the legalization effort here in California. You must not be silent in the face of these gross fabrications by the Audubon Society.

On Sept. 10th the Commission will again have received more scientific information from Californians for Ferret Legalization. But they MUST hear from you. Do not let our opponents speak in your absence. Please come to the hearing and testify in support of the sanctuary idea. You do not need to give your full name, nor do you need to reveal that you own a ferret (though I seriously doubt any harm would come of that given the circumstances). But you do need to speak up and let the Commission know that the proposal is necessary, fair and justified, and that the claims and concerns from the opposition have no basis in fact. Let them know what it's like living like a criminal for something as innocent and joyous as owning this delicate little pet. If you don't have a ferret but want one tell them why you want a ferret and how unfair it is that ferrets are legal in 48 states and literally the rest of the world but not in CA. If you prefer, write to the Commission anonymously from San Francisco and tell them the joy that your ferret brings to you. But your letter must arrive prior to Sept. 10th and your attendance and willingness to speak up will be the deciding factor for the Committee. This is a unique opportunity, don't miss out on a chance to protect ferrets and their owners in this city.

Attend the hearing (at the police station), and/or write to:

Mailing address for the Commission
San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare
1390 Market Street, Suite 822
San Francisco, CA 94102

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Audubon Follies

8/16/98

Many of you have expressed your outrage at the ridiculous statements made by Audubon Society in opposition to the ferret sanctuary proposal in San Francisco. I urge you to write to the National Audubon Society, at:

John Flicker, President
National Audubon Society
700 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

After all, you are not welcome here with your caged, neutered and indoor ferret, but you and your outdoor unaltered cat are acceptepted with open arms apparently.

And California ferret owners face fines, the loss of their pet and even jail- time. Thanks to the Audubon Society's desire to please a sister organization, CA Waterfowl and a rogue governmental agency the Department of Fish and Game.

Please write and if you are a member of the Audubon Society and you also own ferrets, consider resigning that membership-- your dues are better spent with an organization that bases it's positions on science rather than on politics.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


S.F. Amnesty Hearing-Audubon Says Get A Cat!

8/14/98

Yesterday the San Francisco Animal Control and Welfare Commission held its first hearing on the possibility of offering sanctuary to San Francisco ferrets. Several TV and radio stations covered the hearing and the issue was picked up by UPI and reported as far away as New York and Boston.

The main thrust of the presentation given centered around the fact that this domesticated pet does not belong in the hands of a wildlife agency, and that the reason there are so many of them in California is because the public knows this as a fact. They also know that in the context of domesticated pet ownership, the ferret is a far safer pet to people than the dog, and a far safer pet to the environment than the cat. As long as it remains prohibited in California, good people are punished for no good reason.

Californians For Ferret Legalization provided packets of information to each of the eleven commissioners. The documents included letters from the Smithsonian Institute, Museum of Natural History, and the United States Department of Agriculture confirming the ferret's status as domesticated. Sources confirming that ferrets do not go feral included the Office of Technology Assessment, all 50 State Departments of Fish and Game, and the California State Research Bureau, a branch of the California State Library System.

Discussion touched on the ferret's relative safety to humans, especially when compared with dogs as printed in an article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1998. CFL also pointed out that ferrets are one of the very few pets that people with asthma, cancer, HIV or AIDS can own due to their lack of dander, inability to transmit cat scratch fever or salmonella.

Finally, CFL pointed out that the domesticated ferret currently brings pleasure to an estimated 2 million Americans, an estimated 250,000 Californians, and hundreds, if not thousands, of San Franciscans. We encouraged the Commission to adopt a policy of sanctuary for San Franciscan ferrets so that these animals and their owners can live in peace.

A member of the Audubon Society next commented that ferrets are a threat to ground-nesting birds and other small mammals. One of the Commission members asked if there were any documented impacts by ferrets and he said he couldn't speak to that (of course he can't there aren't any). He went on to point out that since the ferret attending the hearing was a stray, that ferrets do indeed get into the wild (if Sunnyvale can be considered the wild, and we suppose a few stray ferrets is just too much givn the thousands of stray cats and dogs). The Audubon representative went on to suggest that the public did not need another pet and asked "What's wrong with a cat?" A CAT??? This incredible statement was followed with the outrageous accusation that the pet industry and breeders funded our efforts. We objected vehemently to this baldfaced lie and told the Commission that the comment was absolutely untrue, that good people hurt by bad government were behind this effort.

I had little respect for the Audubon Society going into this issue and have absolutely none now. The position by this organization, one which purportedly protects native wild birds, that Californians should get a cat instead of a ferret shows that their anti-ferret position is purely political. It has nothing to do with facts or science. It is taken purely to accommodate CA Waterfowl and Fish and Game, which the Audubon Society representative praised-- generating no small amount of derisive laughter from those present.

So, Californians, if you've wanted a ferret, an indoor only animal 95% of whom are neutered prior to sale, a pet that has demonstrated NO impact on wildlife anywhere in this country..... DON'T GET ONE! The threat to wildlife is just too high. Do instead, as the Audubon Society recommends, and GET A CAT. An outdoor pet rarely neutered that has demonstrated a facility for establishing feral populations, and consumes millions (nationally) of small birds, mammals and reptiles each year.*

This item will again be on the agenda in San Francisco on September 10th at 5:30 at the police station at 24th and Taraval. I very much encourage San Franciscans to attend-- after all, its your city!

*CFL has nothing against cats and advocates that cats be kept indoors for their safety and be spayed or neutered. But to try to paint the ferret as more dangerous to wildlife than a cat is stupidity of monumental porportions.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Death of AB 409

8/9/98

The following message from Thad Kousser is the latest on AB 409. It will not move this legislative session but I'm sure it will raise it's ugly head next year. Ferret folks, you still need to be very vigilant about the anti-ferret provisions in this bill.

Also, I've been asked to give a presentation on the ferret issue to the San Francisco Animal Welfare Commission on August 13th at 5:30 P.M. The meeting is open to the public and I really encourage San Franciscan's to attend. After all, this is something that affects you!

The Commission seems very open minded about this.

The location is the police station at 24th and Taraval (it shouldn't have to be said but I don't recommend that you bring any ferrets).

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

All,

Assemblyman Machado has agreed not to move his AB 409 this legislative session. Instead, the Senate Natural Resources Committee will hold an informational hearing on jurisdiction over the regulation of animals after the 1997-1998 Legislative Session ends on August 31. The hearing will take place at the capitol in Sacramento, some time in September or October. The Committee will set a date, time, and place well in advance of the hearing.

Although AB 409 is now a "dead" bill, many of the issues that it raised (who should determine what animals are prohibited in California, what standards should be used when making regulatory decisions, and whether all animals or simply wild animals should be regulated) will become the focus of the informational hearing. The hearing will, of course, be open to the public. It is quite possible that these issues will be addressed by legislation in the 1999-2000 session.

Thank you,

Thad Kousser, Senate Natural Resources Committee


AB 409, Another Delay and Another Court Case!

8/1/98

It looks like AB 409 will not be heard on August 11th according to the latest from the Senate Natural Resources Committee. I hope the bill isn't scheduled to be heard without public commentary because I do know there are quite a bit of folks that oppose it.

Great news on the legal forefront. Yet another trial (unless the DA gets cold feet).

Kimber Toukdarian of Ojai had her ferrets confiscated and will go to trial in late August or early September, making for a fourth California trial/lawsuit in the last two years. Other trials/lawsuits include Pat Wright's (San Diego county), Eugene Soroten's (Alameda County), and Marshall Farm's (San Diego County).

Deputy Public Defender, Cindy Pandolfi, will defend her. Ms. Pandolfi is prepared to go to the mat on this one and Californians for Ferret Legalization plans to supply Ms. Pandolfi with copies of the briefs filed in Alameda County where our lawsuit is on appeal, copies of the Marshall Farms lawsuit and ruling by Judge McConnell that ferrets have never been determined to be wild, and copies of the lawsuit in Alaska where ferrets were determined to be domesticated and the animals were returned to the owner. We will also be sending copies of authorities citing ferrets as domesticated, the misinformation campaign by DFG in California and helping to round up an expert witness for her case.

Please, if your ferrets are confiscated, consider fighting the charges. While we cannot provide financial help, we can provide materials that will save your attorney a considerable amout of time which is money!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 409 and CA Confusion

7/19/98

Latest word on AB 409 is that it will probably, that's probably, be heard on August 11th. Please continue your efforts to get interested parties to write to the members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee and oppose this terrible bill.

On the California front, some of you will be confused by the CDFA newsletter and FA newsletter because they say exactly opposite things. CDFA said that AB 363 will definitely come up in August and FA says it's dead. Well, neither is accurate. AB 363 does not have a hearing date set and may not come up at all, but it cannot and will not die until session is over (end of August) and the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee might experience some kind of Epiphany and do the right thing for Californians, you never know. But until then, the bill isn't dead and there's no guarantee that its going to have its hearing either.

Of course, we prefer that the latter scenario is the one that prevails.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 409 Postponed Once Again

7/10/98

I just phoned Senator Hayden's office and was told that AB 409 is postponed once again and that there is no hearing date set. Unfortunatley this bill is alive until the end of session, August 31st, but it does have to go back to the Assembly Policy Committee, Water, Parks and Wildlife, and to the Assembly floor since it is completely changed from its original language legalizing the incidental take of endangered species. If we can kill it here it would be best so continue to get family to write to the members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee members if they are in the district.

Another piece of great news is that Assemblymember Olberg has taken his name off the bill as co-author and I know that as a friend to the ferret bill Assemblymember Olberg's intent couldn't have been to harm our efforts. We're delighted to know that he is no longer associated with AB 409. Ferret fans in his district should call and thank Assemblymember Olberg for dropping his authorship. His district in CA is the Victorville area. His Sacramento number is (916) 445-8102.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Tentative Hearing Scheduled for AB 409

7/9/98

A tentative hearing on AB 409 is scheduled for Tues. July 14th at 9:30 A.M. Please phone and fax your California State Senators if they are on the Senate Natural Resources (SNR) Committee to express your opposition to this horrible bill. Visit http://www.ferrretnews.org for a list of Committee members names and contact numbers in previous posts.

There is a tremendous amount of opposition to this bill so let's work together to kill it in this Committee.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Hearing on AB 409 Postponed Until Next Week

7/6/98

A hearing on AB 409 has been postponed again until next week. If you are from California and haven't contacted Senator Hayden's office to express your opposition, please do so. Also, please check the roster of State Senators on the Senate Natural Resources Committee and be sure to call or fax your State Senator if he or she sits on this Committee to say NO! to AB 409.

Senator Hayden, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee's address and tel number are: (916) 445-1353

Senator Tom Hayden, Chair
Senate Natural Resources Committee
State Capitol, Room 2082
Sacramento, CA 95814

Be polite and only contact them once-- have friends and family contact the office as well.

These are the other members of the Committee. If you are in their district you must contact them and get as much opposition to the bill as possible from friends and family. To write to the Senators simply print their name and room number accompanied by the following:

Senator_______
State Capitol
Room number_____
Sacramento, CA 94814

Here are the other Senators on the Committee and their room numbers:

Senator Dede Alpert, Room 2187 Tel(916) 445-3952
Senator Maurice Johannessen, Room 5061 Tel(916) 445-3353
Senator Tim Leslie, Room 4081 Tel(916) 445-5788
Senator Dick Monteith, Room 2048 Tel(916) 445-1392
Senator Jack O'Connell, Room 5035 Tel(916) 445-5405
Senator Byron Sher, Room 2054 Tel(916) 445-6747
Senator Mike Thompson, Room 3056 Tel(916) 445-3375
Senator Patrick Johnston, Room 5066 Tel(916) 445-2407

You might want to print out information for distribution to some of the local veterinarian's offices and pet stores, especially if they fall within one of these districts.

Let's make sure this mean-spirited bill dies in this Committee.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


CA UPDATE RE AB 409

7/2/98

The vote on AB 409, a bill that would expand DFG's jurisdiction to domesticated species and mandate that only those animals with no impact on people, wildlife and the envirnoment would be legalized, was postponed until at least next Tuesday, July 7th. Almost 38 bird fanciers showed up to express their opposition and were extremely disappointed not to be heard. Ferret folks, you need to do better!

The fact of the matter is that the ferret is the real target of this bill though its current form does jeopardize many other animals both wild and domesticated. Senator Alpert expressed concern that while the ferret issue was one she'd rather see dealt with strictly by the Commission, this bill was overbroad in its scope.

I must encourage all animal organizations and individuals (in California) that find government over-regulation a concern to contact Senator Hayden's office to voice their opposition to AB 409. Citizens receive no representation from agencies. It is the legislature's job to listen to the people.

The encroachment of DFG into the arena of domesticated pets should be of particular concern. The fax number of the Senate Natural Resources Committee of which Senator Hayden is chair is: 916 324-4823. Do not delay, fax your letters immediately.

If you care about having representation in the legislature on ferret legalization, you must contact members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee and let them know they must oppose AB 409.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 409 Hearing Postponed

7/1/98

Well you procrastinators have received an extension. The Senate Natural Resources & Wildlife Committee postponed today's hearing until Tuesday, July 7. According to the Committee consultant, only twenty letters were received in opposition to AB 409. Thanks to the twenty of you who whote in, and as for the rest of you... write NOW! You may not get another chance. The earlier you get it in, the better chance it will be registered in opposition.

Thanks to DStormy1, I have updated the Senate Natural Resources Committee list with the Senator's respective FAX numbers.

Scott Beisner
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750 webmaster@ferretnews.org


AB 409 Must Be Defeated Now!

6/24/98

We've decided that AB 409 must be fought in the Senate Natural Resources Committee and fought hard. What this terrible bill would do is replace each use of the word wild in section 2116 with the word restricted (clearly enlarging the mandate of the Fish and Game Commission). It would give the Fish and Game Commission the authority to regulate a domesticated species (it specifies "any domesticated or captive-bred species" and it is aimed 90% at the ferret enthusiasts.

It would also allow the Commission the authority to delist or legalize an animal (something they already have the right to do), but only if it can be shown that there would be no impact on the environment, people or agriculture. Few if any domesticated species meets that criteria though the ferret comes closest, certainly closer than dogs and cats.

Fight this bill Californians or it will cut off your opportunity to see a legislative solution to this problem.

All of you (Californians) should write to the Chairman of the Committee, Tom Hayden:

His address and tel number is: (916) 445-1353

Senator Tom Hayden, Chair
Senate Natural Resources Committee
State Capitol, Room 2080
Sacramento, CA 95814

Be polite and only contact them once-- have friends and family contact the office as well.

These are the other members of the Committee. If you are in their district you must contact them and get as much opposition to the bill as possible from friends and family. Our webmaster, Scott Beisner, will post information that helps you know the areas that these Senators cover. [Just click on thier name to go to their website where you can find a map of thier district. Check the Committee list for their district address to get a ballpark idea where their district is. --WebEd.] To write to the Senators simply print their name and room number accompanied by the following:

Senator_______
State Capitol
Room number_____
Sacramento, CA 94814

Here are the other Senators on the Committee and their room numbers:

Senator Dede Alpert, Room 2187
Senator Maurice Johannessen, Room 5061
Senator Tim Leslie, Room 4081
Senator Dick Monteith, Room 2048
Senator Jack O'Connell, Room 5035
Senator Byron Sher, Room 2054
Senator Mike Thompson, Room 3056

Please write to Senator Hayden only if you are a Californian, and write to the other Senators only if you are in their districts. Our webmaster will post information on the coverage of those districts.

THE HEARING IS TENTATIVELY SCHEDULED FOR JULY 1st, so your prompt attention is required. I will be out of the office Thursday and Friday so if you have specific questions please ask our webmaster, at webmaster@ferretnews.org.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 363/AB 409 Update & Soroten Trial

6/22/98

I spoke to Jan today about AB 363 and AB 409. This bill was a surprise to his office and I believe we will deal with it if it makes it to the Assembly. Hopefully the Senators will have the good sense to kill it outright.

If you've contacted your State Senator or Assemblymember that's fine, we will definitely need to fight this bill in the Assembly with everything we have. I do not think that this bodes well for AB 363 though. Senator Johnston believes this is a compromise or alternative but it would effectively not allow us to pursue a legislative solution which is outrageous.

Regarding the trial of Eugene Soroten, sadly the judge did not allow any testimony about whether the ferret in question was wild or domesticated. Mr. Soroten was fined 300.00 and given a year's probation. We will appeal this decision as a clear error made by the judge-- there are wild ferrets and domesticated ones and he didn't allow for that possibility.

I won't be able to answer many of your questions this week. Due to a family emergency and a very important job that has to be photographed in LA, I'm going to be pretty much out of the loop until next week.

This hasn't been a particularly good week for us but we will only win if you renew your vows to fight on. You deserve to win this fight but can only do so through your own dedication and hard work. Hang in there everyone.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


CALIFORNIA ALERT! PLEASE ACT IMMEDIATELY!

6/22/98

Today I spoke with someone in the Senate Natural Resources Committee who told me that Assemblymember Mike Machado's bill AB 409 which dealt originally with the legal taking of an endangered species (in the course of normal business practices of a farmer or developer) has been changed to deal specifically with ferrets in that it changes the language of Section 2116 of the Fish and Game Code to delete WILD and replace it with RESTRICTED. This bill further states that under the Commission's authority is any DOMESTICATED animal it decides. It removes from the Legislature the authority to delete ferrets or any other animals from the restricted list and vests that decision only with the Commission.

This bill is a clear attempt to enlarge DFG's jurisdiction to any animal it wishes by trying to change the intent of the statute to cover wild animals only. It would prohibit the legislature from legalizing ferrets and leave it solely to the Fish and Game Commission. The Commission could legalize ferrets only if it could determine that ferrets are not a threat to the environment of people. What this bill would do is enlarge DFG's jurisdiction to include ONE domesticated companion animal and to hold the ferret to a higher standard than any other domesticated pet. Meanwhile, YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO BE REPRESENTED IN THE LEGISLATURE ON THIS QUESTION WOULD BE SHUT OFF!!!!

Do not sit back and tolerate this. Get on the phone, fax and e-mail now to your State Senator, especially if he or she is a member of the Senate Natural Resources Committee and voice your opposition. Also, contact Senator Tom Hayden's office immediately to let the chairman know that bill is simply intended to harm one segment of domesticated pet owners, those that own ferrets.

Last I spoke with you I cautioned you to keep in mind that nothing on AB 363 could be taken for granted, or as a given, that a definite hearing was not something to be counted on, that we would have to fight every inch of the way. Well, sadly, not only is our current bill in jeopardy but any future ones as well if this bill is to pass. Don't let the opposition get away with this. Your actions is critical to preventing this bill from proceeding!

This new language would effectively place a single domesticated pet in the hands of a wildlife agency and close off one avenue of redress for ferret lovers, the state legislature. It would of course also kill our bill AB 363, whose status is already in question. Ferret enthusiasts, each and every one of you needs to contact both your State Senator and State Assemblymember NOW, TODAY, and tell them to oppose this bill. It is their job to listen to your concerns and you have been wronged by a vicious and vindictive State Agency.

To find out the name of your State Senator, please visit our website at http://www.ferretnews.org and enter your zip code. Contact your State Senator NOW!

Senator Hayden's office number is: (916) 445-1353. Remember, he is chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee and has been a very big help to us but you should register your opposition to this bill.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee's number is (916) 445-2802. Remember to be polite but sincere-- the staffers that take your calls are not the enemy and rudeness only hurts the issue further.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Soroten Trial

6/21/98

Just a quick note to remind everyone that tomorrow (Monday, June 22nd) at 9:00 A.M. at the Fremont municipal courthouse at 39439 Paseo Padre Parkway (corner of Walnut) is the trial of Eugene Soroten. It will be held in Department 2 and anyone that wishes to come is welcome. However, please bear in mind that this is a courtroom and dress and behave accordingly. Most courtrooms do not allow cell phones or pagers to be on and quiet is essential when in session.

CFL will not be suprised if this DA decides to cut and run and drop the charges, but we are fully prepared to make our case if Alameda County will follow through with the case. We deserve our day in court and the only reason for dropping the charges will the a cowardly one-- to prevent the truth from seeing the light of day.

Thank you to everyone that contributed to our stamp drive. Well over 1500 letters have been sent out to Governor Wilson and your support and best wishes are very much appreciated and are critical to keeping this issue on the front burner with those in a position to make a change.

Thanks again, especially to all of you who were kind enough to send words of encouragement.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


AB 363

6/15/98

Just a quick note to say that I spoke with our lobbyist and bills have died in Committee without ever coming up for a vote even though the author wants the bill heard. Jan, our author, had mentioned this as well so sadly this is a possiblility for AB 363. The committee has indicated that it should come up (for a hearing) in August, but no date is set so that could change. I hope to have more news next week because our lobbyist will be speaking with the committee consultant. As soon as I hear something I'll let you know. In the meantime, it is not a "given" that the bill will have an opportunity to be voted on. It can die without being heard. If you've heard otherwise, it's not true-- let's hope though that fairness prevails and that doesn't happen.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Thank You's From CA

5/19/98

Just a quick note to thank everyone who contributed to CFL's stamp drive. A special thank you to Mickie Wingate and the Great Lakes Ferret Association for a donation to cover 500 stamps! An equally generous donation came from another supporter out of state, Todd, you're special!

Many of you sent donations and stamps and I hope I can express my sincere thanks for all of the Californians working so hard on this issue. It's very touching to see the kind of support this issue receives from people who do not live here but care deeply about the plight of ferrets and their owners in CA. Californians have also been generous in their support. Hyper-fur products from LA sent stamps as did members of the Bay Area LOS as well as many, many individual Californians. I appreciate the fact that I can count on many of your for your support when we need it.

I am, however, always surprised by so many who have a direct stake in our efforts and are able to let the requests for support go by. It's difficult to believe that most people are really unable to send $10.00 or $20.00 at some point during the month to help with our costs. Perhaps Californians don't realize the costs involved in carrying a bill, and in fighting the state for five long years. This is just one mailing out of dozens we've made over the last several years. Other bills come from our lobbyist, $125.00 just last month alone, phone and fax specifically for the ferret issue which totals well over $200.00. The misinformation campaign which you can see on our webpage was faxed to over 250 people in the Senate and the Assembly as well as talk radio, TV and newspapers. Each fax cost between $40-$60 and my records show the cost to me for 12 or 13 of these was over $600.00. I have yet to reimburse myself for this cost!

So, Californians who have not contributed, please simply assume we need your help. Costs include copying, paper, envelopes, mailing, phone, fax, lobbyist, and I'm sure I'm forgetting many things. Though I know I'm not including any expenses directly incurred by me to go to Sacramento and testify or lobby for the bill. Besides a full day of my time (by far the most costly item to me) it costs almost $20.00 per trip in gas. Remember, we don't have any dues. If you are concerned that CFL might be too flush, and your donation is not needed, please think again and consider forgoing a movie one night, or keeping a CFL change jar in your kitchen. Help us keep up the fight. You are the ones that will benefit from it.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Californians Will Have Their Day in Court

5/19/98

Yesterday, Eugene Soroten was given a trial date of June 22nd for possession of three illegal wild animals. CFL had been following Soroten's case hoping this issue would go to trial. At a pre-trial hearing months ago, the DA wanted to impose a $100.00 fine and say goodbye to the whole thing. Perhaps he was trying to be nice, but ferret owners have had their domesticated pets, their private property, taken away without due process for too long in this state and Mr. Soroten was advised by his attorney to say no to the $100.00 deal. He told the judge he wanted his ferrets back or his day in court.

Yesterday, the DA's position was that there was no triable issue of fact (something necessary before a trial can continue). He stated that ferrets were illegal and therefore Mr. Soroten had broken the law, simple as that. The DA chose to overlook the fact that ferrets have never been determined to be a wild animal by this state. CFL's position is that they are legal BECAUSE they are domesticated, not wild. The state has no right to ban this animal. DFG claimed that they'd already been determined to be wild but that's simply not true as the San Diego County ruling showed.

In any case, the judge was very impressed with that ruling in which judge Judith McConnell said in no uncertain terms that the state never determined ferrets to be wild, and that the state must make a ruling immediately-- a logical step to take, one would think, prior to placing the animal in a wildlife list!

Well, we won this round and the case is not going away--- yet. The DA can drop the charges any time but we will file a class action suit if that happens. We will also highlight the fact that the opposition has so much faith in their ferret ban that they've run from every challenge in court. In case a class action suit goes forward, I would like anyone that has had their ferrets confiscated to please contact me with the date of the confiscation and the fine that was paid, if any. We may want to contact you to verify facts so please include a phone number (daytime at least).

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


CFL Stamp Drive--1500 Letters Are Going to the Governor

5/10/98

We need your help to be able to mail the over 1,500 letters to Governor Wilson that we collected at the Pet Expo recently. If you can please send first class .32 cent stamps, (one roll is only $32.00 and will send off a hundred letters!), we'll see that these letters get to Governor Wilson's desk.

The reaction from the public at the Pet Expo to the fact that ferrets are still illegal in California was very strong and showed the Californians are disgusted that such a simple problem cannot seem to be corrected by our State Government. Attendees asked how they could help but we need your help to get these letters out.

Members of the Golden State Ferret Society and Ferrets Anonymous are folding, stamping and licking, but mailing costs will be just shy of $500.00 for the stamps alone.

Please consider sending what you can, send stamp donation to:

Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road
Woodside, CA 94062

If you prefer to send a cash donation, please make checks out to Californians for Ferret Legalization."

Thanks in advance for your support-- Californians, please help us help you.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


CA Gubernatorial Candidates

5/5/98

Californians for Ferret Legalization wrote to the 4 major candidates for governor in California asking for their position on ferret legalization. The letter went out at the end of March and we have not heard from a single candidate. Though the letter specifically mentions that there are an estimated 500,000+ ferrets here and that the issue touches perhaps as many as a million people with friends, relatives and neighbors of ferret owners included, perhaps the candidates don't realize what this issue means to you and how many of you are really interested.

Californians, please sit down immediately and write to each of the candidates below. This issue may well still be with us during the term of one of these candidates and the Governor's position is important to our success. Ask each candidate for their position on ferret legalization and tell them how important it is to you since it is an issue that should never have become a problem in the first place. Keep your letter short and factual. Please have your friends and family members write as well.

Well, leave it to two dilligent CA ferret enthusiasts to come up with the e- mail addresses for the Gubernatorial candidates. Both Ilona and Debbie e- mailed me to say that they are available, so here they are:

Al Checchi
Checchi for Governor Campaign Headquarters
5757 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 481
Los Angeles, CA 90036
committee@alchecchi.com
www.alchecchi.com

Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis
Californians for Gray Davis
P.O. Box 67190
Los Angeles, CA 90067-0190
gdavis@gray-davis.com
www.gray-davis.com

Representative Jane Harman
Jane Harman for Governor Campaign Headquarters
8620 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
janeharmanforgovernor@usa.mail
www.harman.org

Attorney General Dan Lungren
Attorney General's Office, State of California
1300 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
info@lungren98.org
www.LungrenforGovernor.org

Californians, please write immediately to all of the candidates above and ask them their position on ferret legalization in California. Would they sign a ferret legalization bill? Would they tell the Department of Fish and Game (a wildlife agency) to let go of a domesticated pet?

Please forward any responses you receive so we can publish them.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


DHS Comments And Clarifications On New CA Compendium

5/5/98

I spoke with Dr. Mark Starr of the California Department of Health Services today for about an hour going over my comments on the compendium. I didn't know if he would personally read his e-mail so I called to express my concerns and disappointment in the compendium's language discrepancies between dogs/cats and ferrets. Dr. Starr firmly believes that there is no bias within the compendium. He asked that some of the clarifications he made to me be passed along and I told him I would do so.

Regarding phrasing the quarantine as "optional" and "possible" instead of as a straight recommendation, Dr. Starr said that the absence of these qualifiers in reference to dogs and cats is because it is common knowledge among health officers that they do have the discretion to kill and test. In other words, all decisions to quarantine are "optional," even for dogs and cats. If that is the case, I asked him, why not construct the ferret recommendation in the same manner, knowing that health officers already realize that they have this discretion? His reply was that because this was new information, efforts were made to make the compendium as clear as possible.

Listing the option for quarantine first for dogs and last for ferrets was not, he contends, intentional. Dr. Starr felt it was simply because the previous recommendation for ferrets was euthanasia and quarantine was simply added on. I told him this was misleading, and is a red flag to ferret owners. Given the history of DHS it appears as a preference. He suggested that the compendium could be revised to make this change.

As far as the compendium's language offering a "green light" to those health officers to kill and test regardless of the option for quarantine, Dr. Starr believes that health officers will quarantine ferrets and that those with any questions will, given the political climate, call Sacramento where, according to Dr. Starr, an evaluation of the situation will take into account everything from the animal's behavior, vaccination status, possible exposure to rabies, location of the bite to the person, etc., before a decision is made to opt out of quarantine. Dr. Starr believes it will be uncommon for a ferret is euthanized for biting in California given the new compendium.

I asked Dr. Starr if he felt California health officers had any knowledge of normal ferret behavior and he suggested that if they don't, they can call Fish and Game. That, I told him would be a serious mistake. I have never seen any evidence that DFG knows much about domesticated ferrets, behaviorally or otherwise. Even something as simple as their basic construction eludes them. Recently a senior DFG wildlife biologist on a televised debate said that one of the reasons that DFG was against our bill, even with a spay/neuter clause, was that unlike dogs and cats, one couldn't "pick up a male ferret and determine if it were neutered." Needless to say, that piece of misinformation was cleared up for the program's viewers.

I also suggested that "strays" be considered "claimed" and would be best quarantined with someone from ferret rescue who does have a very good idea about normal ferret behavior. He suggested that a letter be written to the department and to the California Animal Control Association with that offer. It will save time and management expenses on the part of animal control and will mean that the animal is quarantined with someone who knows ferrets. If the animal is healthy at the end of the quarantine, that same individual will make the necessary arrangements to ship the animal out of state. I suggest that the appropriate person at CDFA contact the Health Department and the California Animal Control Director's Association (CACDA), to make this offer formally for "home quarantine" by an authorized ferret rescuer. It will still be at the discretion of the health officer or animal control but some, especially animal control, will surely take advantage of the offer.

Dr. Starr was dismayed that my comments implied that the Department wasn't to be trusted. I told him he needed to consider the context. I told him that context affected how a Jew during the Warsaw ghetto perceived something as simple as a knock at the door. No one at that time and in that location would simply open up and say, "Yes?" California ferret owners feel they are under siege. The true nature of their pets has been completely and intentionally misrepresented by two state agencies. The outright lies told by both departments has meant a very heartwrenching, very protracted effort by ferret owners to legalize a domesticated pet that should never have been banned in the first place, and is a safer pet to people than a dog and safer pet to the environment than a cat! The decades long battle has seen ferrets killed unnecessarily, separated from the people who love them, and many good people have been fined, some even jailed. Simply put, ferret owners and their pets have been persecuted in California.

In fairness to Dr. Starr, I believe he is sincere, and I very much hope he is right. But my concerns will stand until the state demonstrates its intentions by actions, not by words.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Change to CA Rabies Compendium-- Allows for Personal Bias

5/2/98

NEW 1998 CALIFORNIA RABIES COMPENDIUM
Department of Health Recommends "Possibility" of Quarantine for Ferrets

The new 1998 California Compendium of Rabies Control from the California Department of Health Services (DHS) recommends the possibility that ferrets involved in bite circumstances be quarantined for 14 days. While this recommendation is an improvement upon the previous recommendation to automatically kill and test, the language used in the compendium unfortunately opens a door for health officers that have a bias against ferrets to order their destruction regardless of the new shed studies.

In a letter announcing the changes, Dr. Kevin Reilly of CA DHS states:

My concern is with Dr. Reilly's use of "optional" and "possibility". While some areas of the state are ferret friendly and have quarantined ferrets with no interference from DHS, even in the absence of the shed studies, others are clearly hostile to ferrets. This weak and ambiguous language gives those health officers that are inclined to kill and test a green light to destroy healthy ferrets that bite rather than to quarantine them. The language in the compendium itself is also weak. " Biting ferrets may be quarantined and observed for signs of rabies for fourteen (14) days following a human bite." (Emphasis added.) Why, given the current studies and NASPH recommendations, plus the fact that rabies is extremely rare in ferrets, couldn't the Department simply recommend that ferrets be quarantined for 14 days? Even something as definitive as a scientifically determined shed time becomes a difficult hurdle for this agency if it benefits ferrets. It is extremely disappointing to see the controversy and prejudice within this agency so clearly expressed in what should be a scientific document. I have no doubt that some within the department will be sure to exercise the euthanasia option based on the carefully chosen language by DHS.

The CA DHS ferret bias is also evidenced in the differences between the compendium's dog/cat recommendations and the ferret recommendations. Not surprisingly, the compendium states that ferrets must be confiscated and reported to the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). That should have been enough to comply with the current law, but DHS felt the need to go a step further. The compendium states, "Domestic dogs or cats that bite humans must be placed in quarantine... or be euthanized and immediately tested for rabies." Regarding ferrets, the CA compendium says, "If a ferret bites a human in California, it must be euthanized and tested for rabies or quarantined." So, dogs and cats must be quarantined (or euthanized), ferrets must be euthanized (or quarantined). The fact that the option for quarantine precedes euthanasia for dogs and cats, while the option for euthanasia precedes quarantine for ferrets, is not accidental, it's intentional and it's prejudical.

Another green light to kill and test is the following: "If the ferret bite is judged by the local health officer to be unusual or to represent an increased risk for rabies (e.g. unprovoked attacks, bites to the face, or attacks on children) the animal should be euthanized immediately." Does a playful nip to a child from a ferret qualify as posing an unusual risk for rabies? Frankly, no such language appears in the section on dogs and cats and I doubt there are many, if any, health officers in California that can distinguish between a nip in play and an "unprovoked attack" by a ferret. They simply have little or no knowledge of this animal and its behavior. In addition, absolutely no mention is made of an evaluation or risk assessment for the ferret in this circumstance, i.e. what is the likelihood the ferret has been exposed to rabies, is it vaccinated against rabies, and how common is rabies in this species?

The Compendium further states that, "Any unwanted or stray animal that bites a human should be euthanized and tested immediately." Because of the ban on ferrets in California, many ferrets go unclaimed due to the fear owners have of being fined or jailed. The vast majority of these pets are not unwanted and may even have a vaccination history, but the law keeps owners underground. In light of this, special consideration should be shown for "stray" ferrets and for the statewide ferret rescue already in place. Any ferret that bites while under the control of a humane agency or animal control where an owner is unknown, should be automatically declared "wanted" or claimed by ferret rescue and placed in quarantine for 14 days. After that time it can be shipped out of state under the normal protocol in place with the Department of Fish and Game.

The new 1998 California Compendium of Rabies Control is a step in the right direction, albeit a small one and taken very grudgingly. But the language and the recommendations in the Compendium are unfortunately short on objectivity and long on prejudice, and Californians should be extremely careful where their ferrets are concerned. All ferrets should be vaccinated against rabies and owners should not allow any interaction between their ferrets and persons outside the immediate family. I don't think the new Compendium offers owners of ferrets that have been involved in bite instances much comfort because it offers no guarantee of a quarantine, only the "possibility" of one. It is written specifically to allow those with a state-induced bias against the ferret to satisfy that prejudice if they choose, and only time will tell if personal feelings will outweigh facts when ferrets bite in California. The NASPH made their recommendations based strictly upon science and I am very disappointed that our DHS did not do the same.

Sections of the compendium including portions of a letter from California Public Health Veterinarian Kevin Reilly, will be available for review on the CFL website, http://www.ferretnews.org. [GO TO COMPENDIUM]

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


CA ALERT-- Changes In CA Rabies Protocol Are Being Reviewed

4/6/98

Today I spoke with Dr. Mark Starr, one of the Public Health Veterinarians at the California Department of Health Services, and was informed that changes to the California Rabies Compendium which incorporate a quarantine for ferrets involved in bite situations are now in the review process with the head of the California Department of Health Services. What this means is that a new protocol for ferrets has been proposed after an internal review of the recommendations of the NASPH, and these changes should be formally adopted by the state within the next few weeks (hopefuly). In the meantime, if your ferret is involved in a bite circumstance which is reported to the health department, it is imperative that the local authorities know the latest information, especially if they are proposing to kill and test your pet. Local health officials should be notified to contact the State Health Department in Sacramento regarding these new recommendations YOU MAY SAVE YOUR FERRET'S LIFE WITH THIS INFORMATION. The telephone number for local officials to call in Sacramento is (916)327-0332.

If you are uncomfortable speaking with the authorities on this matter, don't hesitate to call me at (650) 851-3750. Be sure to leave the details of the incident, your name and telephone number, and the name and telephone number of the local official involved with the bite and I'll see if I can help.

Of course, the best advice I can give you all is to not let anyone who is not a part of your close circle of family and friends interact with your ferret, whether your ferret nips or not. As we all know from the KODO incident, even a scratch can send some folks into hysterics where ferrets are concerned. It is also my recommendation to vaccinate your ferret against rabies each year. Ask your veterinarian to use IMRAB III. If your veterinarian says he or she can't legally vaccinate your ferret in California that simply is not true. They can, and they do. Call if you need a new veterinarian, or visit the Ferrets Anonymous website at http://www.caoutlaws.com for a list of vets that treat ferrets.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Fish and Game Commission Appeals

3/11/98

As you know, the CA Fish and Game Commission was ordered by Judge Judith McConnell to make an administrative ruling on whether or not the ferret is a wild animal since this state has never determined it to be either wild or domesticated (yet it appears in a list of prohibited wildlife). My father and I flew down to San Diego last Thursday for a Fish and Game Commission Hearing. Unfortunately it turned out to be a 16 hour day for us since we weren't heard until late in the afternoon, and all flights leaving San Diego for San Francisco that evening were delayed at by over 4 hours. It was an exhausting day, one we hoped would not be in vain.

My father pointed out to the Commission that prior to Deputy Attorney General Randy Christison's (Legal Counsel for Fish and Game) pronouncement that the Commission did not have the authority to remove ferrets from the list of wild animals, another Deputy Attorney General, Bion Gregory, counsel for the State Legislature, said quite clearly that the Commission did have that authority in a letter to Senator Kopp. Mr. Christison's advice to the Commission precipitated the lawsuit by Marshall Farms, USA. California taxpayers are picking up the tab. Mr. Christison's opinion certainly had little or no effect on Judge McConnell, she found that the Commission did have the authority to add or delete animals from the list of prohibited wildlife, and that the ferrets status had never been determined. In her judgement, she ordered the Commission to determine the ferret's status prior to listing it as a wild animal. My father asked that the Commission not appeal the judgment, since it is obvious to everyone except Mr. Christison that the Commission has the authority to make such a determination.

I told the Commission that while the ferret had yet to be determined by this state to be a wild animal, people like Ilona Maggard had their homes ransacked by Fish and Game, had their family pets taken, and were fined thousands of dollars. I told the Commission about the fire that took all of Steve Gilger's possessions except his two pet ferrets which the state prompty seized--what the fire didn't take the State did. I told the Commission that in the absence of a determination that the ferret was wild, and therefore prohibited, people like Brent Utley were jailed! I asked that the Commission expedite a determination of the ferret's status as wild or domesticated because people were being unfairly punished for owning an animal whose status had yet to be determined.

Unfortunately we just found out that once again, Mr. Christison's agenda is clearly revealed. He's advised the Commission that if they go ahead with a hearing on the ferret's status that they will be breaking several laws (we can't wait to see what those are and I'm sure Judge McConnell will be interested in them as well). I hope the Commission remembers the sound advice they've received from Mr. Christison when the Commission loses this appeal. How much taxpayer money does Mr. Christison have the authority to waste? How can Mr. Christison justify yet another expensive, absurd and unfair delay tactic? Maybe the problem is that Mr. Christison doesn't have to justify anything to anybody. Hello Governor Wilson, hello Dan Lungren? Anybody home? What do you think they're afraid of?

If you would like to express your opinion about the Commission's appeal you can write to the Commission at-- angry is fine (they've earned it), insulting or nasty is not, please:

California Fish and Game Commission
Mr. Robert Treanor, Executive Director
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
Fax: (916)653-1856

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


CA UPDATE on AB 363

2/15/98

It looks as if Senator John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, will do what he can to help our bill have a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee, but our bill probably will not be heard until sometime closer to summer.

Senator Vasconcellos originally was opposed to ferret legalization. At our last hearing in July, he appeared neutral. Then a good friend of Senator Vasconcellos, who is a veterinarian apparently called the Senator and told him that there is nothing wrong with ferrets. and, after a meeting with proponents and opponents, Senator Vasconcellos has asked for two amendments. One would be a leash law that requires ferrets off the owners property (say, in a park) to be on a leash. This is a good idea since it would be very irresponsible to put a ferret down where other animals, or unknown dangers exist for this pet whether on or off your own property.

The other amendment makes less sense, but I don't know what our options are without it. His help is predicated on both changes. It would stipulate that ferrets would not be allowed in homes with children under 3 years of age. As a representative of the Health Department said, it would essentially be unenforceable.

These amendements mean that our bill has a chance to move past this committee and on to the Senate Floor. I hope Californians will write to Senator Vasconcellos to support him in his efforts to move the bill. He is up against a chairman that doesn't like our bill and can kill it. If you want to write to Senator Vasconcellos to say thank you I encourage you to do so.

In spite of these, and all of the other amendments, both Health and DFG remain opposed. A DFG representative said they still oppose the current bill because it is unenforceable, to which Senator Vasconcellos replied, so is the current law!

By taking on DFG and DHS and pledging to help our bill, Senator Vasconcellos will be taking his time and resources to see that the bill moves ahead. I hope you will write a thank-you note to Senator Vasconcellos. Taking on a chairman of a committee is a challenge and there are always political costs involved.

His address is:

Senator John Vasconcellos
State Capitol, Room 4061
Sacramento, CA 95814

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


CA Bill/Quarantine/And Legal Efforts

1/25/98

Hello everyone,

Tomorrow I have two meetings, one with PAW PAC, an animal rights network that includes members of the California Animal Control Director's Association, HSUS, Fund For Animals, and many others on the humane front. Those in attendance at the meeting will receive a copy of the new Rabies Compendium as well as a letter from The Ferret Education Foundation (see below). This is an important reminder to Californians that ferrets may still be killed and tested in this state even though a quarantine should apply. Our DHS is NOT getting any information out to local health departments or animal control about the new studies. You should be very careful with your ferrets and strangers, and make an effort to get a copy of the new Compendium into the hands of your local health department. They may say they have to follow State policy on bite protocol, but it will at least alert them that there needs to be a change. The other meeting is with Senator Alpert. Hopefully she will help move this bill.

Here is the letter to the animal rights organizations. It is intended to solicit their help in preventing the unnecessary deaths of any ferrets in California involved in bite instances.

Some have asked about the lawsuit and judgement against the Fish and Game Commission requiring that they make a ruling about ferrets as wild or domesticated. Remember, this is our civil justice system and it moves very slowly. There may be an appeal by the Attorney General's Office (it would be another shameful waste of tax dollars) or they may go ahead and have the hearing but I would not expect that until sometime in the spring.

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There is very good news for domesticated ferrets involved in bite circumstances. The completion of a three year study of rabies in ferrets by Kansas State University, the Centers for Disease Control, and the United States Public Health Service has led the Rabies Compendium Committee of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPH) to recommend a 10 day quarantine for ferrets involved in bite circumstances. The new 1998 Compendium is enclosed for your review.

However, in California we are alarmed by actions taken by our Department of Health Services (DHS) that show little regard for these new studies. Because of an historical bias against ferrets on the part of CA DHS, we are very concerned that we will not see a quarantine for ferrets become part of California's rabies protocol any time soon. Recently a ferret in San Diego was killed and tested after the owner surrendered his pet with the clear understanding that a quarantine would apply. He was then given 4 hours notice that the animal would be killed and tested instead. The ferret was vaccinated against rabies, tested negative, and was killed three days short of completing a 10 day quarantine.

On the national scene, other Departments of Health Services are moving very quickly to implement a 10 day quarantine for ferrets involved in bite circumstances due to the recommendations of the Rabies Compendium Committee of the NASPH. This body is a rabies/public health panel of experts and their recommendations are considered a form of "peer review" by virtually all public health departments. In fact, previous NASPH recommendations that ferrets may have to be euthanized due to an absence of a known shed time were noted by Dr. Reilly, California Veterinarian of Public Health, in defense of kill and test. A 10 day quarantine is the recommendation currently from NASPH, and Dr. Reilly should change the new compendium immediately so that healthy ferrets are not killed needlessly.

Ironically, a very good case can be made that DHS is actually endangering public health both with their aggressive position prohibiting domesticated ferrets, and with the outdated CA policy to kill and test all ferrets that bite. Ferret owners will be driven further underground, perhaps even deciding not to vaccinate their pets because, until a quarantine is in place, the message from the health department to ferret owners is loud and clear: If you surrender your ferret, science will not play a part in its fate, it will be killed whether it is healthy or not.

Humane and animal control workers will get caught in an unnecessary crossfire between frightened, angry ferret owners and the California Department of Health Services, because it is they who must confiscate the ferret, and are then ordered by DHS to euthanize the animal. Please help us in convincing our Department of Health Services that it is in everyone's best interests to acknowledge the results of the rabies shed studies in ferrets, and to implement the recommendations of the NASPH Rabies Compendium Committee immediately. At his request, I am providing the name and telephone number of Dr. Star at CA DHS (916) 327-0332. Thank you for your help in this matter.

Jeanne Carley
Director, Ferret Education Foundation
Founder, Californians for Ferret Legalization
(650) 851-3750


FANTASTIC NEWS FOR CALIFORNIANS IN SAN DIEGO COURTROOM ON HEELS OF ROCKY TRAGEDY

1/12/98

As most of you know, my father, Floyd Carley, along with Assemblymember Jan Goldsmith, Dick Shumacher, Executive Director of the CVMA, avian expert Ed Hamilton, myself, and one or two others, made a presentation to the Fish and Game Commission in August of 1995 asking that ferrets be deleted from section 2116. After almost 4 hours of debate, the Commission voted to publish their intent to remove ferrets from this list of prohibited wild animals. Subsequent to that decision, DFG Legislative Counsel, Randall Christison, told the Commission that they lacked the authority to delist animals from DFG code section 2116, and thankfully, Marshall Farms, USA, stepped in and sued the Fish and Game Commission for what was a clear abdication of their duties.

Well, it's been difficult to sit on this news but on January 9th, Judge Judith McConnell, of the Superior Court of California, San Diego County, ruled that the California Fish and Game Commission not only has the jurisdiction to remove ferrets from the list of prohibited wildlife, but that, since they have never determined whether ferrets are wild or domesticated, the Commission is now obligated to make such a determination. (A word of caution here to ferret supporters. Do not contact the court, judge, or anyone within the court system. There is no need, and it is highly improper. If I receive permission from the attorneys representing Marshall Farms, USA, I will ensure that the entire judgement is available on the Californians for Ferret Legalization website, http://www.ferretnews.org.) [CLICK HERE to see the Judgement (Minute Order)-- Ed.]

What this means is that the Commission must make a ruling, a determination, as to whether ferrets are wild or domesticated. The ruling states in part:

"the legislative history provided by Petitioner (Marshall Farms) clearly indicates that the legislature intended Respondent (Fish and Game Commission) to have complete authority to add or delete animals from the statutory list of restricted species.... the court can compel Respondent (the Commission) to act because the language of Section 2116 coupled with the legislative history provided by Petitioner (Marshall Farms), clearly indicate that Respondent (the Commission) is required to determine one way or another whether the ferret is a wild animal...... finally, as for Respondent's (the Commission) contention that the evidence in the record supports the conclusion that the ferret is not normally domesticated, this contention is premature as Respondent (the Commission) never actually made a determination about the status of the ferret."

HOORAY!!!!!! That's what we've been saying all along!!!!!

Now, we still need to press hard for our bill because this ruling may be appealed, and that could take months. I believe an appeal will lose, and the Commission will have to make a ruling. But sadly, there is no guarantee they will make the correct ruling though it is what we would hope for. If they choose to call the domesticated ferret wild, that would necessitate another lawsuit. In the meantime, wouldn't it be nice to be a citizen in good standing here? Wouldn't it be a relief to have your ferret's safety guaranteed? (REMEMBER, UNTIL OUR DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DOES THE RIGHT THING AND ACCEPTS A QUARANTINE FOR FERRETS THAT BITE, BITE CIRCUMSTANCES MAY RESULT IN THE UNNECESSARY EUTHANIZING OF YOUR PET, AND THAT WON'T CHANGE WITH LEGALIZATION, BUT WITH A CHANGE IN THE RECOMMENDATIONS BY DHS).

Californians, you have reason to celebrate this ruling, even at this very sad time, since it comes on the heels of the killing of Rocky. I'm sure the irony is not lost on anyone that these two events occurred within one day of each other and both in the County of San Diego. Please use your energy wisely and funnel it into a renewed effort to pass AB 363. We've come so far, we can pass this bill. It's time to recontact your State Senator, especially if he or she is on the Senate Appropriations Committee. It's time to make an extra effort to spread the word to the public. I know the weather is rotten, but you can help make new contacts for this effort by manning tables at pet stores, by posting the Californians for Ferret Legalization WANTED poster in pet stores and vet offices. If you would like a copy of the WANTED poster and ferret fact sheet, please e-mail me with your mailing address.

Congratulations to the law firm of McDermott, Will and Emery, and to attorneys Chris Amantea, who argued this motion, and Mary Ellen Hogan. Thank you to Peter Reid and Marshall Farms for a much needed judicial effort-- please hang in there.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


Pet Ferret Killed Despite New National Guidelines for 10 day Quarantine

1/9/98

National Association of Public Health Veterinarians recommend same treatment as dogs and cats for ferrets that bite.

For more information contact: Jeanne Carley, Californians for Ferret Legalization & The Ferret Education Foundation (650) 851-3750

For Immediate Release:

Last night at approximately 7:00P.M., Rocky, a 2 &1/2 year old male neutered ferret belonging to Pat Wright was euthanized so his brain could be tested for rabies. On January 1, 1998, Rocky nipped a cameraman covering the Ferret Freedom Day March in San Diego, CA, organized by Ferrets Anonymous. The bite was described as minor by the cameraman's doctor and did not require anything other than topical antibiotics and a band-aid. Pat Wright surrendered Rocky to animal control to be quarantined in a local veterinarian's office with the understanding that the animal would not be euthanized and tested for rabies, but placed under quarantine. Rabies in ferrets is extremely rare, and Rocky had been vaccinated against rabies with a current vaccine. However, when local animal control authorities contacted the Sacramento Department of Health Services to inquire if a 10 day quarantine might suffice instead of a 14 day quarantine, DHS in Sacramento ordered Rocky"s destruction.

What makes the killing of this animal so outrageous is that in October 1997, the Rabies Compendium Committee of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, announced that "ferrets are now included with dogs and cats in all recommendations regarding vaccination, removal of strays, preexposure vaccination and.... management of animals that bite humans. These changes were unanimously agreed to by the committee after hearing a report on the final rabies viral study of ferrets in which a variety of bat rabies virus strains were used to in infect ferrets." The Compendium recommendations were published on Dec. 1, 1997, and were the result of a three year study conducted by Kansas State University, the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Public Health Service.

The Compendium"s findings: "In all but one case, shedding was concomitant with onset of recognizable signs; one animal may have shed virus for as long as 4 days prior to onset of signs. The longest an animal may have shed virus prior to death was 6 days. A confinement and observation period of 10 days after a ferret bites a person should be sufficient to protect public health." A letter survey of State Public Health Departments nation-wide reveals a rapid and immediate move to quarantine ferrets in bite circumstances in accordance with the new Rabies Compendium guidelines. But not, apparently, in California. California Department of Health representatives who did not hesitate to point to the previous Rabies Compendium Committee recommendation that healthy ferrets that bite may have to be euthanized and tested for rabies because the shed time was unknown, now ignore the Compendium recommendations that ferrets be quarantined.

The California Department of Health Services is sending a clear message to ferret owners:

Science will be set aside for ferrets involved in bite instances in California. The California Department of Health Services will kill your healthy pet ferret if you surrender it to authorities.

Public Health is not served by driving pet ferrets and their owners underground in bite circumstances. Public Health is not served by ignoring the latest scientific information in pursuit of a mean spirited and vindictive policy of hurting ferret owners by needlessly killing the pets they love. It"s time California adopt rational policies where domesticated ferrets are concerned.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I received a call from someone within the Public Health Department saying that science was the basis for this call which I disagree with entirely but he seemed to be a reasonable person. The statement was made that DHS was waiting for the bat studies to be published. If they are not published soon, or ever, we will have to insist that the CDHS accept the NASPH recommendations in the absence of the publication of the bat studies.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750


California Fish And Game Double Standards:
Enforcement a Matter of Convenience

11/17/97

The California Department of Fish and Game is very selective in its enforcement of the ridiculous ban on ferrets in California these days. If you're an attorney, ready to challenge the law, they leave you alone. If you're someone without that kind of capacity, they're vicious.

October 30, 1997:

A Department of Fish and Game warden, identified as Dan Butler, entered the home of Teri Abshire of Ontario, California, allegedly over her objections and without a search warrant by threatening her with jail. According to Teri, he threatened to shoot her dog, and denied her request to get her prescribed pain medicine while he searched for ferrets. He then issued her a citation even though she broke no law-- he found no ferrets in her house. She owns three ferrets which were being cared for at the home of a friend who was also cited. Possession of domestic ferrets (not ownership) is illegal under the law.

November 5, 1997

The Department of Fish and Game failed to even show up, let alone cite a ferret owner, despite being notified by certified mail that the ferret and owner would be present on the steps of the State Capitol. The California Highway Patrol, whose jurisdiction includes the Capitol, also failed to cite the ferret owner for possession of the animal, though he was threatened with being cited for failing to obtain a permit to hold a rally. In the end, ferret legalization signs were confiscated, but not the ferret.

Why They Do What They Do!

What kind of capricious agency would use the law to harass and intimidate Teri Abshire yet refuse to enforce the same law a few days later in Sacramento? One that knows their regulation banning ferrets has a fatal legal flaw: ferrets are incorrectly listed as wild and that is the only reason DFG maintains a hold on them. Domesticated animals are private property, according to our own State Constitution, and are not subject to DFG regulations.

Californians, if you are cited, or know someone who is, please contact Californians for Ferret Legalization immediately. We may be able to defend your case-- unless DFG turns tail and runs away again.

Please call, Floyd Carley at 650 854-7784 if you are cited for possession of a ferret in California.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750 (NEW area code!)


DFG, Capitol Police, Do Nothing About Illegal Ferret

11/05/97

Ferret owner Joe Kouri appeared today on the steps of the State Capitol with Winston, his ferret, and neither Joe, nor Winston, were cited or arrested. Winston wasn't even confiscated!

There were about half a dozen ferret enthusiasts with signs, which were confiscated, and about the same number of media. Ferret supporters were threatened with being cited for an illegal gathering but not for the presence of Winston.

I think this should tell Californians that DFG is afraid of a legal confrontation on this issue because they know they are wrong! If their regulation has merit, why are they afraid to enforce it? It's such a same that this agency doesn't have the moral strength to do the right thing and delete the domesticated ferret from the State's list of prohibited wildlife. Someday ferrets will be legalized and apparently the agency doesn't care how ridiculous they look trying to stop the inevitable.

Keep posted to the CFL website to find out more about how Winston and Joe plan to press the issue. They promise to fight until ferrets are legal in California.

Subject: Press Release re: Winston

November 5, 1997

For immediate release:

Ferret Owner Not Cited, What's DFG Afraid Of?

Today, Joe Kouri of San Carlos, and his ferret Winston, made a public appearance on the steps of the State Capitol. The California Department of Fish and Game was notified of his scheduled appearance, as were local police. What happened to this lawbreaker and his illegal contraband? Absolutely nothing.

The facts surrounding this controversy are really quite simple. The ferret is domesticated and doesn't belong on a list of prohibited wildlife. DFG's ridiculous ban on a single domesticated species by falsely classifying it as wild wouldn't hold up in a court of law, and they apparently know it.

Ferret supporters are certain they'll win this battle in the long run, and the longer it rages, the worse the department looks. It's a shame to see this agency willing to continue to tarnish it's image over anything and everything they perceive as their "turf". Unfortunately for those of quality within the department, there are thousands of Californians who know the truth of the ferret matter, and see DFG for what it is, an agency in severe need of some housecleaning.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750 (NEW area code!)


Ferret Owner Seeks Judicial Solution to Unjust Ferret Ban

11/04/97

Tomorrow a California resident and ferret owner will appear in Sacramento on the West Capitol Steps, domesticated ferret in hand, to try to put an end to California's unjust and illegal restriction of its citizens' right to choose a ferret as a pet. His arrest will hopefully result in a jury trial which will bring to light the fallacy of our Department of Fish and Games ban on a single domesticated species, and hopeful will start the ball rolling toward a resolution that will effectively put an end to the ridiculous ferret ban in this state.

If you want to show your support for this issue, come to the West Steps of the State Capitol building in Sacramento at 10:45 A.M. Wednesday November 5th. Do not bring your ferrets, there is absolutely no reason to risk their confiscation.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750 (NEW area code!)


A Gift from Ronnie and the FMLers to California Ferrets

10/30/97

After all of the generosity shown to the Jacob's family and to poor Kodo, after organizing, donating to and bidding on, at least two previous auctions, Ronnie DiComo and you, the FML subscribers, have generously spent your time and your hard-earned dollars on behalf of our efforts here in California for the benefit of the ferrets in this state. CFL just received from Ronnie checks totalling $722.00 which will go a long ways towards helping us continue the fight.

To Ronnie, whose hard work organized and saw the raffle through, to all those who donated items, and to all those generous bidders, Californians are touched once again by your support. I'm sure all of us simply wish we had more to show for everyone's hard work towards legalization.

Unfortunatley, our Department of Fish and Game continues to fight this issue with everying they have. The Sierra Club and Audubon Society did major damage to our bill and I hope that clubs and shelters everywhere will encourage their members to write to the heads of these organizations to let them know that they will not receive any financial support until their opposition is dropped. Ferret owning members of these organizations should seriously consider dropping their membership. Ferrets and their owners are persecuted in California and as non-residents, you and your pets are not welcome here while dog and cat owners are. It's simply not right.

Whether they will every know it or not, DFG lost the ferret fight some time ago. Everyday I hear from people tired of waiting for that state agency to come to their senses where ferrets are concerned. Everyday I get calls from new ferret owners in California looking for veterinarians and for ways to get involved in legalization. A visit to California pet stores these days reveals not just ferret sections but sometimes ferret isles. Everyday I hear from people who don't have a ferret, and don't even want one, but hate agency abuse and are willing to help fight this issue. Everyday, because our supporters grow, we get stronger. DFG has no moral, legal, or ethical justification for this ban and the public knows it. It's as simple as that.

I hope you all will think of us next week when one California ferret owner openly defies the ban by appearing in Sacramento on the west capitol steps on Wednesday, November 5th at 11:00 A.M. Californians interested in showing solidarity with this individual, and this issue, your issue, are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(650) 851-3750 (NEW area code!)


HAS THE BAN LOST IT'S BITE? LACK OF ENFORCEMENT IN SOME AREAS.

10/15/97

There have been several incidences recently in California where the police, animal control or Fish and Game have crossed paths with resident ferrets and have literally turned tail and run. One has to wonder what they're afraid of! Ferrets are small gentle creatures. Even on their worst days, they're nothing compared to a doby, shephard, or pit bull. Can it be that they worry that their prohibition of a domesticated animal has no legal basis? Are they afraid to test the strength and validity of their famous ferret regulation?

This is not a recommendation to get a ferret but a call to push the issue hard with Governor Wilson, your State Senator, and the media. Besides an apparent weakening in the peverse desire of DFG to harass good people, not much has changed on the ferret front. We still have until August to move this bill out of the Appropriations Committee and that will take letters from constituents in those districts specifically asking their representatives to remove AB 363 from the suspense file.

If your State Senator is on this Committee, please write and call and ask him/her to do the right thing for thousands of Californians affected by the ferret ban. If your State Senator is not on this Committee, write to him/her, not the members of the Committee. Your State Senator's job is to listen to your views. Understandably, Senators do not want to hear from outsiders. The exceptions to this rule are Committee Chairmen whose job is to represent a large constituency and Senators running for State-wide office.

You may have been approached by old-timers or new-comers about the upcoming Senate and Assembly races. Now is the time to make your position on the ferret issue crystal clear to anyone asking for your support. This is a litmus test for most ferret owners. Why? Why should what should be a little issue be of such weight? Because, without the same legal status as dogs and cats, ferret ownership means you are not on a parity with your neighbors. You are a criminal. You a subject to blackmail from ex-husbands or girlfriends. You may be reluctant to call the police to report crimes because it may mean a house visit! Your cherished domesticated pet may be taken from you and sent to a stranger in another state! When you are approached by someone running for office, let them know where you stand on this issue and how important it is to you that the ban be lifted.

If you want to help generate letters in your area to both Governor Wilson and your local State Senator, please contact CAOutlaws@aol.com or Pocha@aol.com. These members of the Golden State Ferret Society are experts at promoting the issue to the public in cooperation with local pet stores. They have literally generated hundreds of letters in support of lifting the ferret ban.

And finally, please revisit the CFL web page. There you will get a taste of the misinformation campaign waged by the Department of Fish and Game and Health Services on the ferret issue. You will see their statements of ferret problems in Massachusetts and San Juan contradicted by local experts. You will see their portrayal of ferrets shot down by authorities such as the Center for Disease Control and the American Medical Association. Your State Senator has already received copies of these documents via CFL and thanks to the hard work of Scott Beisner, you can read them too, if you can stand it.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


CLARIFICATIONS TO CALIFORNIA FERRET BILL/WHERE WE GO FROM HERE

9/9/97

I need to clear up a couple of incorrect statements made about AB 363. First, we definitely had the votes to pass the Appropriations Committee by a large margin. The following Senators had pledged their support or voted for our bill in a previous committee:

Alpert, Dills, R. Johnson, Karnette, Lee, Leslie, McPherson, Mountjoy and Vasconcellos.

That's nine out of thirteen when we only needed seven, and we might have even had the support of Senator Burton as well, but the fact of the matter is that when the bill was referred to the suspense file on the recommendation of the chairman, there was no vote in Appropriations.

The way the suspense file works is that any bill over $150,000 is automatically a candidate. Each author prioritizes the bills they wish to come off the suspense file and Jan put AB 363 as #1 out of his three bills on suspense. Protocol usually means that the top priority bills by each author are heard but Senator Johnston chose Jan's other two bills, ONE OF WHICH WILL COST THE STATE MILLIONS, to come off suspense rather than AB 363.

Senator Patrick Johnston has behaved very unfairly on this issue. Not only did he refuse to meet with us and hear the other side (and the facts), but he was absent during all but a few minutes of our very lengthy hearing in the Senate Natural Resources Committee, the policy committee that determines the merits of each bill. He heard none of the debate or exchange and yet was the only no vote. He clearly cares nothing for the facts.

We intend to put what pressure we can on him by visiting his district and letting his constituents know how he treats good people, but Californians in other districts should know that ANY ONE OF THE SENATORS ON THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE CAN BRING AB 363 OFF THE SUSPENSE FILE. It would mean standing up to the Chairman but it can be done. So rather than "sitting back" and waiting until January, which will gain the effort nothing, those of you in the districts of the Senators on the Appropriations Committee should be arranging meetings with those Senators asking for their help to get AB 363 off the suspense file.

You must also help get the grossly unfair way that decent people have been treated by Senator Johnston and DFG into the press. Write letters to the editors of your local papers. Call into local talk shows. Call up your paper and volunteer to be interviewed anonymously. California's obscene waste of taxpayer dollars and governmental goodwill spent fighting ferret legalization must come to an end. But it is up to you.

AB 363 is not dead and it doesn't have to die but this isn't the time for inaction, it's a time for renewed action. We have come too far not to see this bill become a reality. If you are in one of the Senate Appropriations Committee Districts and will organize a meeting with your State Senator please give me a call and I will send some information your way. It is also very important that you spread the word in your district about AB 363. You can do this very effectively by manning a table outside a local pet store-- don't bother with PetsMart they have been very unhelpful even though they sell tons of ferret products, but PetCo and independents have been great. Have pre-addressed, stamped envelops with cards or letters in support of removing AB 363 from the suspense file.

Golden State Ferret Society members and FA members in northern California have been very effective in organizing such efforts. Questions about how to organize such an event can be addressed to Pocha@aol.com or CAOutlaws@aol.com.

And finally, please Californians, if you are not in a particular Senator's district, do not contact them. It is appropriate to contact the Chairman of a Committee since they are in a special position as well we know. But other members are only interested in constituent mail which is fair and reasonable since those are the people they represent. Senator Johnson is reported to be upset by the barrage of e-mail messages from non-constituents. So please, it is not helpful to do this. If your State Senator is not on the Appropriations Committee, write to Governor Wilson and have your friends and family do the same.

If you are from out of state, you can contact our Governor, Pete Wilson, at Governor's Office, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814, but please do not contact our representatives. It does more harm than good.

I know there is talk of an iniative but I do not think it is time to divide our efforts. We have a bill that is still alive and viable if we can convince Senator Johnston to be fair, or we can motivate a member of the Appropriations Committee to ask that our bill be heard. An initiative is also a dangerous arena where money really counts due to heavy radio and TV advertising. Ferret legalization efforts have not been known for their large advertising budgets but our opponents are.

Our bill may be heard in January and in the best case scenario can be amended to have an urgency clause. If amended, and if it passed the Senate and Assembly by a 2/3 vote, it would take effect with the signature of the Governor as early as a couple of weeks later-- another reason not to wait until January to get moving!

Come on folks, you've earned this bill!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


AB 363 FAILS TO GET OUT OF SUSPENSE FILE-- BECOMES TWO YEAR BILL.

9/4/97

Today was not a very good day for the Democratic process. The domestic ferret, a tame family pet, is legal in every country in the world and in every state on the continent, except California. Here, there are estimated to be some 500,000 ferrets belonging to some 200,000 owners.

AB 363, a bill to legalize this animal in California was introduced by Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith (R-Poway) in February of this year. It passed both Assembly Committees, Water Parks and Wildlife and Appropriations, by clear majority votes with only one vote in opposition in each committee. On June 5th AB 363 passed the California State Assembly by a landslide 64-8 vote.

From there it moved to the Senate Natural Resources Committee where it was severely amended to address the concerns of the opposition by prohibiting sales, importation and breeding of ferrets while the state conducts a study funded by ferret owners. Only ferrets currently in California would be legalized, and they would have to be spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies. AB 363 passed this Committee again with a clear majority and a single no vote.

As amended, AB 363 would have done one thing, and one thing alone. It would have simply given the several hundred thousand ferret owners in California the opportunity to enjoy their domesticated pets without fear of confiscation, or fines. It would have given them something they long for and deserve: peace of mind.

But on August 25th, hopes for passage of AB 363 this year were killed by one man, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Patrick Johnston (D-Stockton). Senator Johnston refused to meet with the ferret legalization bill proponents to hear their side of the issue and refused to allow a vote in his committee. Members of this committee indicated support for passage of AB 363, and it would have moved on to the Senate floor, but this will not happen now because this bill has been effectively euthanized by Senator Johnston.

We are told that Senator Johnston has aspirations to be a Congressman someday.

Do you think he will listen your concerns?

Would you want him to represent you?

Californians for Ferret Legalization


FERRET BILL IN TROUBLE-- AB 363 NEEDS YOUR HELP!

9/1/97

AB 363 is in trouble thanks to the continuing misinformation campaign by the Department of Fish and Game and the hostility to the bill by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Johnston (NO HOT LETTERS OR E-MAIL TO THE SENATOR PLEASE-- IF WE ARE EVER TO GET A BILL THROUGH THIS COMMITTEE, WE WILL NEED TO GET IT BY HIM).

As you know, our bill AB 363 is in the suspense file. I believe we have the votes to bring it off suspense but only if the people in the districts of the Senators on the Appropriations Committee actively mobilize to get phone calls and e-mail in by Wednesday September 3rd. Please, members and ferret fans in those districts, we are all counting on your help.

To those of you in Senator Patrick Johnston's district, you have a special problem. Sadly, Senator Johnston declined to even meet with Californians for Ferret Legalization, sponsors of the bill. Apparently he is not even interesed in hearing the other side, or of being informed of the facts surrounding this issue. You will have to work especially hard to enlist help for our bill in your area (southern Sacramento, Stockton). Please e-mail me if you want to help spread the word about the ferret issue in your area. Your help is especially critical.

The Department of Fish and Game again misled legislators by testifying that enforcement costs for this bill would exceed $150,000.00. This ridiculous misstatement of fact (estimates provided by DFG for enforcement in 1994 were 40,000) had as its goal, the placement of AB 363 in the suspense file since any bill over $150,000.00 qualifies. Frankly, since DFG hardly enforces the ferret ban now, and enforcement costs would go down with the passage of AB 363, the goal of this absurd projection was to kill the bill, and it may just do that.

The Department of Fish and Game continues to lie, mislead, twist facts, and distort the truth of the ferret ban in California. This is something the public should not tolerate from a State Agency whose very existence is paid for by you, the taxpayers of California.

I ask all of you to write to Governor Wilson NOW and to complain about the Department of Fish and Game's behavior on this issue. Tell the Governor that the wildife agencies in New Hampshire, Michigan, Massachusetts, Georgia, Vermont, Maine and others that misclassified the ferret as wild, supported ferret legalization because it was the right thing to do for the citizens of their states, and because they had the moral fibre to admit a mistake was made. Tell the Governor that as a Republican who has a purported interest in less government, he should make this agency leave an arena (domesticated pets) that does not belong to them. Tell the Governor that rather than being the envy of other states, since ferrets are legal everywhere, our Fish and Game is a laughing stock. Please write to Governor Wilson regardless of the success or failure of our bill-- he should know how many good people this rogue agency is hurting over a simple thing as domesticated pet ownership.

His address is:

Governor Pete Wilson
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

On another note, on the eve of what may be the last vote for AB 363, I want to let you know about some of the people that have worked so tirelessly for this issue. Thanks are due to Pat Wright of Ferrets Anonymous who has issued a terrific newsletter each and every month without fail. It's been an endless and often thankless job, one that is certain to drain energy and the pocketbook.

To the many FA Chapter heads (Claudia, Becky, Suni, BJ, Ilona, Carl, Dina, Harold & Sharon, Kay, Donovan, Patty, Chris, Terry, and John) who held meetings every month and helped diligently to spread the word, you all did a great job and I hope you keep at it. Many of these members manned the FA booth at the America's Family Pet Expo, and FA Chapter head Sam Solace went the extra mile and spent his own money on a newsletter for the Ventura Chapter and FA member Shelly Brewer helped to generate a new level of interest in the Santa Clara chapter with her monthly flyers. Shelly also spent time recently hosting a table at a pet store in Stockton. Great job all of you.

Many of you may not be familiar with members of the Golden State Ferret Society, but the regular members of this small but growing organization have spent an incredible number of manhours on the ferret issue here and in some of the most visible and positive ways. President Scott Beisner hosts the CFL webpage http://www.ferretnews.org. We would not have a domain name without his generosity and he has kept the CFL page updated daily with the latest news on the ferret legalization front. CFL's page is current, organized and highly informational with links enabling visitors to e-mail committee members, identify their representatives by entering their own zip codes and links to the bill itself for daily changes in text or status. The CFL webpage has become known as the place to go for ferret news in California and it is only through Scott's diligence and hard work that our visitors (including DFG and faculty at Davis) are so well informed.

Members Margaret and Marion have donated countless hours helping with mailings, donated stamps, hosted garage sales and other fund-raisers. Margaret and Lili (also tapped for mailings), have helped this issue immensely by manning tables outside local pet stores and have generated hundreds of letters to local Senators and Governor Wilson. Regardless of the outcome of this bill this year, we have a very informed public on the ferret issue, one that sides with us and has little regard for the ridiculous policies of the Department of Fish and Game.

Golden State member Doreen Mar spent hours talking with many of you and made sure that those of you willing to visit your Assemblymember or State Senator were given the terrific informational packets on AB 363 to take with you to those visits. Doreen was also a terrific help with the CFL letters to the members of each committee by ensuring that they went out in a timely fashion via the use of mail merge software-- not my forte!

FA member Debbie Andelin, besides compiling monthly meeting notes for the FA newsletter, was invaluable for CFL's presence at the World Wide Pet Supply Assocition Trade Show when we were given a booth free to promote our legalization efforts. Debbie's organized mind provided the CFL booth with a hundreds of xeroxed WANTED flyers with the Senators neatly typed in and ready to go home with the staff and owners of the 50-60 pet stores that came by the booth. Both Debbie and Melissa helped man the CFL booth at the Family Pet Expo in Los Angeles as well as the WWPSA show, so they are now veterans of the trade show circuit.

A relatively new member, Amy, thankfully shares my word-processing software and drafted the letters advising all of you of the incipient votes by your Assemblymembers and State Senators. She took the time to look up the Senators that represented Assembly Districts when our bill was in the Assembly providing our members in advance with the information of their represenative in the Senate. It made the letters that much valuable.

Alyssa, Chuck, Jan, Susan, Jennifer, Ann S., and others that I have no doubt unfortunagely and untintentionally left out, are owned a debt of gratitude by us all for their help ensuring that interested parties were notified at each of our 6 major committee and floor votes.

My father, Floyd Carley, is also deserving of a lot of gratitude for taking the time to write to many organizations across the country in his effort to gather current information on the status of ferrets in other states, their absolute non-impact on waterfowl or other wildlife, for his preparation at the committee and Fish and Game Commission hearings, and for his collection of DFG misinformation that we FAXed to 250 members of the legislature, the press, radio, TV, etc.

And finally, we all owe a debt of gratitude to Assembly member Jan Goldsmith who has stood by this issue because it is right. He has fought and stood up to two major agencies, and at least six organizations more powerful than any combination of ferret fans. He's committed his time and the time of his staff to seeing this issue through a State Legislature misinformed for almost a dozen years by DFG, and eventually led AB 363 to a wonderful 64-8 victory in the Assembly. Jan worked hard to see a compromise brokered in the Senate Natural Resources Committee and has worked especially hard to give our bill a fair hearing in front of a hostile committee chairman. I don't think there is more we can ask of him. Should AB 363 fail next week, I know he will do all he can to see our bill pass in his final year in the legislature and I'm very honored to have come to know him and to have worked so closely with him. He's a man of his word, his honesty and integrity stand out for me in what has otherwise been a depressing lesson in the incredible depths to which a vindictive State Agency will sink and in the sometimes meanspirited cooperation they receive from some lawmakers.

If this sounds a bit like an obituary for AB 363, it isn't. Should this bill not survive this committee hearing, it will become a two year bill and will be brought up again next year (we do not begin all over again, but will face either just the Approps committee or perhaps SNR as well). The ferret issue in California isn't about to go away, it will only get worse and more embarassing for DFG. I find it absolutely amazing that DFG can stick its collective head in the sand while 500,000 ferrets live in California now with more coming in every day. What this means is that the postponement or even defeat of AB 363 is not an end to the ferret issue in California. It just means that once again, like so many other things, our legislature has ducked the issue and unfortunately Governor Wilson has allowed a State Agency (DFG) to run amuck. California is a rudderless ship where the ferret issue is concerned but I believe the public will take the helm if you all get actively involved-- but not until then.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Appropriations Puts Ferret Bill on Suspense

8/25/97

Essentially, the Dept. of Fish & Game (DFG) claimed that the bill would cost in excess of $150,000 ($182,000 to be precise) so the bill was a candidate for the "Suspense File."

My understanding is that means that the bill will be looked at to see if the costs are higher or lower than the threshold $150,000. The same committee will look again at this bill next week, probably on Wednesday Sept. 3rd.

DFG apparently reported to the Finance Department that AB 363 would cost them $182,000 for "enforcement and eradication." Apparently, the costs of enforcement have more than quadrupled for DFG since 1994. When the first ferret legalization bill was introduced (AB 2497), DFG reported that enforcement of the current ban cost them $40,000 annually. You would think that legalization and licensing would lower costs for them, but I guess DFG disagrees.

So what happens now? If the bill stays in the "Suspense File," it will die there. It can be moved out of the suspense file if the Senators on the committee are convinced to do so. We believe that the bill has enough support in this committee to pass if it is put before them.

Therefore, there is no time to waste. Snail-mail letters will take too long. If your own Senator is on this committee, you need to call on the phone, email, or fax him or her. Do this right now. Encourage your Senator to move AB 363 out of the Suspense File and be heard by the committee.

DON'T LET OUR FERRET BILL DIE. IF YOUR STATE SENATOR IS ON THIS COMMITTEE, YOU MUST RE-CONTACT HIM/HER TO ASK THAT THE BILL COME OFF THE SUSPENSE LIST, AND YOU MUST DO IT SOON.


DFG STILL OPPOSED TO FERRET BILL!

8/23/97

DEPARTMENT DEPUTY DIRECTOR CLAIMS AMNESTY = LEGALIZATION!

Jan's office just received a four page letter from Kassandra Fletcher, Deputy Director, which states:

"Unfortunately, an amnesty program would result in the complete legalization of ferrets in California. If ferret owners were arrested or cited, district attorneys probably wouldn't bother to prosecute violators because ferret owners could complain to the judge that their ferret would have been eligible for the amnesty program but they didn't know about it, and assert that they would have licensed their ferret if they had known." --some DA's won't prosecute now!

Well, we do believe that this is a first step but the Department's ferret phobia reaches new heights with this prediction. So, DFG complains in this letter of opposition that the ferret amnesty program would be unworkable. Do they think the current prohibition is? How about the several hundred thousand owners already in California? How about the many law enforcement officers known to be ferret owners? We even know some State Leglisators' families own ferrets. How many veterinarians or their staff own ferrets? How many humane workers? How many Fish and Game wardens??? The ferret ban is ridiculous, absurd, and the difficulties DFG finds itself in are of their own making.

Rather than admitting the truth, that a domesticated pet does not belong in a list of prohibited wildlife, the California Department of Fish and Game prefers to see good people (YOU) criminalized even when this bill has been amended to burden them (YOU) with licensing and a new bill eventually so they can create some make-work for a couple of biologists at UC or elsewhere, and preserve the ego of DFG. Outrageous!

Listen Californians, you do not have much time left to affect the Senate vote. It is time to redouble your efforts. Use this weekend and Labor Day to get out to pet stores or supermarkets. Most of you have computers, so make up flyers and letters of support for the public to sign and send in to your local Senator. But you take the initiative! Provide the envelops, provide the postage. MAKE IT EASY AND SPREAD THE WORD TO THE PUBLIC JUST HOW BAD THIS AGENCY IS, HOW THEY WASTE TAXPAYER MONEY AND HOW THEY HURT GOOD PEOPLE WHO HAVE SIMPLY CHOSEN ONE DOMESTICATED PET OVER ANOTHER! The public deserves to know what DFG does with their money.

Don't let this rogue department hurt you or your pets any longer. You've got to fight them with everything you have because they have shown that they will stop at nothing to defeat this bill. We've seen it all, the lies, the misinformation, the smoke and the mirrors. Only your efforts in your district and with the Governor will make this bill a reality.

"Amnesty equates to legalization and legalization threatens native species."

This is the kind of inflammatory remark with no basis in fact or science that Ms. Fletcher sent on to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Never mind that all evidence from reliable sources shows that ferrets do not survive in the wild, never mind that they are a preferred pet to domesticated cats or dogs in that respect, science will be thrown to the wind when a bureauracy's ego is at stake. Listen Californians, take this opportunity to complain to your State Senator that DFG is outlawing a safer pet to the environment than cats and is therefore ENDANGERING the environment! If 250,000 Californians exercised their right to choose a ferret INSTEAD of a cat, how many native species would be preserved? Countless!

There's not one documented case of a ferret living in the wild in California or elsewhere in the U.S. How many dogs are feral? How many cats, horses, goats, pigs, rabbits, sheep, goats, etc? Your domesticated pet of choice doesn't survive outdoors yet you are criminalized for having chosen it while others can own the above pets with impunity. It's not right, it's got to change.

THE ONLY REASON FERRETS ARE BANNED IN CALIFORNIA IS BECAUSE THEY ARE MISCLASSIFIED AS WILDLIFE. OTHERWISE DFG WOULD HAVE NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT THE MATTER.

There's not one documented case of a ferret preying on a native species in California or the U.S, yet everyone knows the damage cats do. Did you know that feral pigs are also a problem? If DFG really cared about "native species" they'd do what the rest of the wildlife agencies in the country have done and quit wasting taxpayer dollars on a housebound domesticated pet that will starve or be killed outdoors, and isn't within their jurisdiction anyway.

This is ugly government folks and you will need to fight and fight and fight to see this bill through. Don't let anyone tell you, "It's a given, or it will happen." It may very well not. The success or failure of AB 363 will depend upon your ACTIVE participation.

DFG maintains that the cost of enforcing the licensing provisions and amnesty program would be significant. Ms. Fletcher goes on to say that a warden who discovers a ferret "would be faced with the challenge of determining whether it is a licensed ferret or not." Well, if the warden has nothing better to do... Fact is that no police officer stops every car to see if someone is licensed or not. That kind of enforcement is absurd. DFG does not have to make this hard on themselves, and they probably won't but to make things look dire for the appropriations committee, that's the kind of scenario they paint in their letter.

And, continuing the misinformation campaign, the Department of Fish and Game "cannot ignore the risks to our native species that the legalization of ferrets pose."-- As if there is any fact in this statement. Ferrets are not a threat to anything but the ego of some of the folks at DFG.

And of course, DFG is perfectly at home IGNORING the simple fact that this animal is a domesticated pet and doesn't belong in a WILDLIFE statute. They're very particular in what they chose to ignore: the ferret's classification as domesticated, the study by the Office of Technology Assessment documenting no feral ferrets, 50 letters from 50 departments of Fish and Game documenting no feral ferrets, the California Research Bureau's report stating that it is highly unlikely that ferrets would go feral.... They even ignore the boundaries of their mandate, which begin and end with wildlife. All so they can hound YOU and confiscate your DOMESTICATED PETS.

But you are the other thing they choose to ignore. They want to continue to criminalize you, California citizens, they folks they work for, when their behavior in this issue is better described as criminal. Don't let them get away with it! You must get very seriously involved in these last few weeks. The Senate floor vote will probably be the first week in September so contact your State Senator now. If you've already done so, get 50-100 relatives, friends, co-workers to contact him/her as well. If your State Senator has pledged his/her support, move on to the Governor. We will need all of your letters and more to reach Governor Wilson.

It is also critical that you write, call, fax, e-mail, your local paper and tell them to support ferret legalization. How many years, how much time, how many committee hearings, floor sessions, Fish and Game Commission hearings, paperwork, man hours, etc. must be spent on this issue before it is resolved? And it will not go away. Not ever. As long as a domesticated species is in a wildlife list, we have a problem and it will either be fixed or just continue to fester.

Call your local papers. Tell them the behavior of this state agency is despicable and that it is an outrageous abuse of power, waste of taxpayer funds, and governmental goodwill. DFG is dead wrong on the ferret issue and 48 states and the rest of the world prove it. We're not leading the country we've got our head in the sand and are moving backwards. Get your own story into the local media and make it known that DFG has apparently too large a budget if they can afford to spend so much time on an issue that is none of their business!

I appreciate the many letters and e-mails of support but only your active participation will carry this bill to the Governor's desk and see it signed into law.

Wish us all luck on Monday.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Appropriations Committee Hearing Postponed-- Will Possibly Be Set for the 25th.

8/12/97

I just called Jan Goldsmith's office to check on some information I faxed to them (it's 8:30 P.M.) and Jan took the line quickly to say that the Legislature was recessing until the 25th of August so our hearing would be postponed until then, or later.

That gives us extra time to focus on those Senators on the Appropriations Committee as well as the Senators I listed previously whose positions are unknown. Please reveiw the list and e-mail me if you are willing to put up flyers in the districts of those State Senators. Let's not forget that this has been a lot of hard work and expense-- don't slack off the letter writing and the effort to get the word out.

Please e-mail me with your mailing address if you are willing to put up WANTED posters in your area.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


CONFUSION BY SOME ON NEW BILL-- DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE IGNORANT!

7/30/97

Well, I guess some folks just don't get it-- maybe they never will. Apparently there is some confusion (so far from just a party of one but in case there are others) about what this bill will, or will not do for ferret owners in California. Read the legislative counsel's digest for yourselves, as well as sections of the bill, then decide: "This bill would allow domestic ferrets to be owned as pets without a permit if the owner of a ferret obtains a license on or before July 1 1998...."

AB 363 specifically MANDATES that counties issue licences to ferret owners between January 1st 1998 and July 1st 1998 if the animals are altered and vaccinated (assuming that the bill passes the Senate and the Governor). It removes the ferrets that comply with the bill from the Fish and Game Code section 2118!!! One person insisted that because the bill doesn't use the word "grandfather" that these ferrets aren't protected from the ferret ravaging hordes of DFG wardens who will, with the legalization of the hundreds of thousands of ferrets here, still insist that they have the legal authority to harass ferret owners when the State Assembly and State Senate and the Governor of California will have just granted amnesty those very people. Now there's a case of extreme paranoia that could turn into a case of downright stupidity.

Folks, if you've heard talk like this, don't believe it, and do yourselves a very big favor. Work hard, work very hard, to pass this bill. We didn't get everything we wanted in this bill, that much is clear. The fact that AB 363 is now just an interim step, and that we will have to put forth another legalization bill, is also clear. But if AB 363 does not pass, all of the ferrets in California will stay illegal. All of you will remain criminals. You will still have to hide your pets from your neighbors. You will still have to fear retribution from an "ex" (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, employer, employee) and you will have gained absolutely nothing from all of your hard work, effort and expense over these last many years.

If we pass this bill, and you are one of the bright people that license your ferrets during the amnesty window, you and your pets can enjoy the sunlight. You can go for walks in the park. You can drive them to their vet appointments without fear of exceeding the speed limit and finding the animals confiscated by the CHP. While your paranoid ferret neighbor is explaining to animal control or DFG why he or she didn't license their ferrets, perhaps their now ex-ferrets, you will watch from your doorstep knowing that "tsk, tsk this was such an avoidable situation."

DFG has a real friend in anyone that makes this pitch to you-- "Don't support the bill because they may come get you." "Don't license your ferrets because they will know where you live." CA ferret owners, should you hear such talk, pass it off as rantings from a kook and keep your sights on the successful passage of AB 363.

Here's what needs to be done:

Our next committee hearing may or may not be bumped on week from August 18th until the following Monday because of the budget deadlock in Sacramento. I don't know yet what will happen, so for now assume that we're on for August 18th.

Here are the Senators that need more input from their district: (By the way, if you have received correspondence from one of these Senators that indicates their support or opposition, please forward it to me-- my address is at the bottom, their addresses are on our website) [Just click on a Senator's name below to view their respective profile including their addresses.]

Senator Burton: San Francisco area
Senator Johnson: Irvine area
Senator Johnston: Stockton area
Senator Kelley: San Diego area
Senator Lee: Oakland area
Senator Vasconcellos: San Jose area

If you live in one of these Senators areas, please get busy writing and having your friends and family write as well. If you want to put up WANTED posters in the district, contact me with your mailing address and I'll send them along!!

Now for the Senate floor vote. Should we pass the Appropriations committee, we may be on the Senate floor within just a few days. So, what we need is a concentrated effort in the following districts because we do not know where these Senators stand: (Again, if you have received correspondence from one of these Senators that indicates their support or opposition, please forward it to me):

Senator Ayala: Rancho Cucamonga area
Senator Costa: Fresno/Bakersfield area
Senator Craven: Carlsbad area
Senator Greene: Sacramento area
Senator Hughes: Inglewood area
Senator Hurtt: Garden Grove area
Senator Knight: Palmdale/Santa Clarita area
Senator Lockyer: Hayward area
Senator Maddy: Fresno/Bakersfield area
Senator Peace: La Mesa area
Senator Polanco: Los Angeles area
Senator Rosenthal: Van Nuys area
Senator Schiff: Pasadena area
Senator Solis: El Monte area
Senator Watson: Los Angeles area

Keep up the great work, keep up the steady pressure, reach out to new contacts in your area and tell them how to contact their State Senator and the Governor. And beware of false prophets....

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


San Francisco Chronicle Article Slams Ferrets, Please Write Editor

7/26/97

Those of you in the greater San Francisco Bay area, please take a moment to write to the editor Of the San Francisco Chronicle and complain about an article by Staff Writer Paul McHugh. The article came out Thursday, July 24th, in the outdoors section and was entitled "Bird-Watching Gets Serious." Mr. McHugh talks about the new activist birdwatchers and says that in California, birder groups... battled a state bill to permit ferrets as pets--since these varmints would wreak havoc on birds if they escaped into the wild."

Please, CHRONICLE SUBSCRIBERS, and anyone else in the greater Bay Area, write to the editor and complain about this ugly, inflammatory statement. We should not tolerate the reference to a domesticated companion animal as a "varmint"! This implies ferrets are best exterminated and it is a crime that the Chronicle printed such nonsense. Also the claim by Mr. McHugh of what ferrets would do in the wild differs with what wildlife biologists say. Robert S. Ellarson, of the Universtiy of Wisconsin, says in his article "Ferrets" in the Encyclopedia Americana, that ferrets do not survive more than about 3 days in the wild. "Wreak havoc" on our wildlife? Prove it Mr. McHugh! Where in has that happened?

The only places where ferrets have managed to survive in the wild was where we intended them to: New Zealand (where we pumped unaltered ferrets, hybrid ferret-polecats, and wild polecats into the environs by the thousands for decades), and San Juan, WA where again we loosed unaltered ferrets to control rabbits (they survived for a few years then died out). And what's left in New Zealand is some kind of combo ferret-polecat hybrid. And anyone wanting to compare the US to New Zealand has a biased agenda-- they're not the same. Where in the continental US did flightless birds evolve? Where are there no ground or air predators? The ferret managed to survive in this predatorless environment for one reason: it was predatorless. But here? Wreak havoc? The environment here wreaks havoc on the ferret, not the other way around.

From the California Research Bureau Report: "Dean Biggins, a leading expert on the black-footed ferret and project leader for the black-footed ferret project, U.S.G.S. Biological Resources Division, did explain how difficult it has been to reestablish those animals in the wild, even though they are much closer to their wild progenitors.... He asserted that escaped domestic ferrets (like the black-footed ferrets) are more likely to become prey than to survive long as predaors in any ara with predators (including cats and dogs)."

Listen Bay Area ferret fans. We want an editorial in support of ferret legalization from the Chronicle, because it's fair and it's right, not this baloney. Please write ASAP to the editor. Remember our bill has to pass the Appropriations Committee and the Senate and the Governor. Let's get another editorial in support.

Write to (again, polite but with passion-- no name calling, just the facts):

Editor
S. F. Chronicle
901 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 543-3754 (fax)

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


SENATE APPROPRIATIONS HEARING SET FOR AUGUST 18TH!
Letters, Letters, Letters...

7/25/97

I just found out that our next hearing will be August 18th in the Senate Appropriations room #4203. That's the fourth floor of the Rotunda (the old part of the building). If you haven't already written to the Chairman of that Committee, please do so. His name is Senator Patrick Johnston and his address is:

Honorable Patrick Johnston
State Capitol, Room number 5066
Sacramento, California 95814
(916)445-2407
Internet Email Address: Senator.Johnston@sen.ca.gov

Please ask Senator Johnston to support this bill. Again, please be polite. All Committee Chairs are powerful people and we need to pass this committee to be able to move forward. Though Senator Johnston voted no in the Senate Natural Resources Committee, this committee deals with money issues and ferret people will be assuming the costs associated with licensing. It is a good bill and deserves his support.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


CALIFORNIA COUNTDOWN!

7/24/97

Many of you have asked me what to do now. To bring you up to date, our bill is on its way to the Senate Approriations Committee. The Committee and its members, as well as the language of the bill at the present time, is availabe on our website: http://www.ferretnews.org

If your Senator has already voted on the Natural Resources Committee, please write him/her a thank you note. Only one Senator abstained (Thompson) and one Senator voted no (Johnston). If you are in Senator Thompson's district, please ask him to vote yes on the floor. If you are in Senator Johnston's district, please ask him to reconsider. Our bill will be heard in Senator Johnston's Committee most likely in the latter half of August. Get those letters to the Committee members ASAP. From there, if successful it will move to the Senate floor, so all of you need to be writing to your State Senators now! If you do not know where your State Senator stands on this issue, it is critical that you spread the word about the bill in his/her district. Please e-mail me with your mailing address in California if you are willing to put up WANTED posters in your area.

If your Senator has already voted in support of our bill, or has written you a letter promising support, it is time for you to focus on Governor Wilson. Each of you needs to get 100 friends and family to write the Governor telling him he should put an end to this senseless waste of taxpayer dollars on a harmless domesticated pet that is legal everywhere else.

His address is:

Governor Wilson, Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Keep up the steady but polite pressure on the legislature and the media. As our bill progresses, it's a good idea to keep the local media abreast of the issue so they can update their readers. Hopefully we will continue to get some editorials in support.

I apparently have a real "fan" out there that called me this morning with a death threat if I continue to work on ferret legalization in California. I have no idea who the caller was, perhaps a pet store owner in Nevada or Arizona? My brother told me I should leave the area for a couple of months but he's taking this much too seriously. I plan on keeping up the pressure and doing my best to see this bill pass.

Thanks for all your hard work and support.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Winston and Local Attorney Challenge Fish and Game in San Mateo

7/18/97

In today's paper(July 18th) San Mateo County Times, there is an article about attorney Joe Kouri's visit to the Menlo Park office of the Department of Fish and Game with his ferret Winston in tow. Mr. Kouri filed a lawsuit on behalf of all ferret owners in California some years back but the suit was dropped when the Fish and Game Commission voted to go to notice and publish their intent to change the statute banning ferrets. Kouri has stated in the past that ferret owners were prejudiced when the Attorney General's office (represented by Randall Christisson, leg counsel for the Department of Fish and Game, surprise, surprise) stepped in to block the publication of that notice stating that the Commission did not have the authority to remove animals from the list. (The statute reads, "the following wild animals are prohibited......as determined by the Commission. Plain english never has been the forte of the DFG, or of Mr. Christisson, or of anyone with an unconstitutional agenda.)

According to the article, Kouri said, "Today, I want to be Rosa Parks, I want to refuse to move to the back of the bus." The article went on to say that he wanted DFG officials to arrest him so he could challenge the law forbidding ferrets. But, according to the writer, DFG staffers were "more interested in cooing over Winston than they were in handcuffing Kouri. "He's so cute," repeated a number of employees, peering into Winston's pet cage." -- I loved that part!

No one from DFG appeared to arrest Kouri and the interviewer called the county Sheriff's office and spoke to the sherrif who "shrugged his shoulders at the idea of citing a ferret owner. "We have better things to do," the Sherrif said.-- I loved this part too, though I counsel ferret owners in San Mateo country to still keep their critters under wraps.

The article ends with a quote from Kouri, "Where does government interference end? If they refuse to arrest me, they should admit they have no jurisdiction to ban ferrets and they should leave the animals alone."

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Come say hello to the author of our bill
Ferret booth at WWPSA show at hit!

7/16/97

Jan Goldsmith will be at Pete's Harbor tomorrow (today if you're reading the FML) Thursday, July 17th between 4:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. (possibly until 6:00 I'm told) to meet people from the San Mateo area and to discuss unlawful taxes imposed by the state. Pete's Harbor is at the end of the Whipple exit off 101 on the east side of the freeway in Redwood City. It's pretty much the main building on that side and you can't miss it. Jan is running for State Treasurer and anyone from this area should come and support him. I don't believe there is any charge for the event. Please come by if you can because he is terrific and deserves our support!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
WWPSA and Marshall Pet Products (Marshall's purchased their usual two booth and were given one free by WWPSA) donated a booth to Californians for Ferret Legalization at the summer pet trade show in Long Beach, CA where Melissa and the very organized Debbie Andelin worked wonders to get between 75-100 people and stores connected to the ferretnews pipeline.

Debbie and Melissa helped CFL at the Pet Expo booth back in April where we were swamped. Debbie came away knowing that a better, faster system for giving out our WANTED posters customized to Senate and Assembly districts was needed. She took the time to make originals with each of the 40 Senate districts coded by Senate numbers and made several copies of each. Interested parties gave their zip codes, we looked up the Senate district number and were able to hand them a pre-addressed poster in probably 1/5 the time it took before. Each poster also has the Governor's address.

Show attendees were given "dailies" by Pet Product News and CFL's booth was highlighted two out of the three days! Pet Talk America, a radio show hosted by Bob Vella, asked me to do a show live from the floor in both their national and regional markets and the national radio show Talking Pets, hosted by John Patch, gave the ferret issue over 1/2 hour and interviewed myself and veterinarian Dawn Thomas from Santa Barbara. Dawn has given this issue lots of publicity and support and was very helpful in getting Senator Jack O'Connell to change his no vote to a yes.

Among the staff at Marshall's booth was Pete Reid, whom I'd met many times before and like very much. Marshall's sent any and all interested ferret enthusiasts to our booth were we informed them about the progress of the bill and the name and address of their State Senator. At some point I kidded Peter about how much money CFL had received (I was told there was something on the FML inferring that we'd received support from MF-- I don't know if the kind of support was described as financial or emotional) and he reminded me that he'd given several thousand dollars to CDFA in the past and I know CDFA did receive at least $1,000.00 because I asked for it and they sent it. CFL would love to get that kind of donation from Marshall's but they are currently spending quite a sum on a huge lawsuit in California and it didn't occur to me to ask-- Peter did donate 25.00 for 5 of our beautiful AB 363 buttons with our spokesferret Moosephat in his jailhouse outfit. Three of them were given back to me to resell, so that comes to $35.00. The value of the booth is 1,300.00 and it was donated to Marshall Pet Poducts (MPP) who donated it to us. CFL thanks both MPP and WWPSA for their support for the work we're doing out here. It may be hard to measure in dollars because so far there aren't any, but support it is and we welcome it.

It still cost $344.50 for renting carpet (not an option), electricity, tables and chairs. Shipping our materials to the show cost $156.00 one way so I'm assuming that total will be around $300.00. Which means altogether without my air fare it cost CFL $644.50 to attend the show. We raised just over $300.00 from donations and sales of the buttons and 1997 calendars so we're short some dough. Your help with this kind of expense is appreciated because we reach so many via the pet stores that tell us, time and time again, that they sell a lot of ferret products and have a big ferret clientelle.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
For those of you whose Senator has already voted on SB 363, please take time to write to Governor Wilson. I probably do not need to remind you but I will anyway-- make those letters short, informative, and polite. His address is:

Governor Pete Wilson
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


AB 363 Amended In Senate Natural Resources Committee, Passes 7-1

7/8/97

Well, we have a very changed bill, but it is one that is still viable because of the changes, and is a definite step forward for ferret legalization in California. Days prior to our Committee hearing the opposition turned up the heat by forming a consortium and sending, under a single letterhead, a demand for amendments to AB 363 that required a risk-assessment study PRIOR to legalization, and to include licensing as mandatory for ferrets if or when they are legalized.

Here is the final vote tally on AB 363:

Senators Monteith, Johannessen, Alpert, Hayden, Leslie, O'Connell and Sher supported our bill. Senator Thompson abstained and Senator Johnston (Stockton area) voted no.

Please contact the Senators that supported this bill and thank them for their support, we had to make concessions to keep moving but without their support we would not be able to move forward.

For your information, the names on the letterhead mentioned above are:

National Audubon Society, Sierra Club California, California League of Conservation Voters, Planning and Conservation League, California Waterfowl Association and California Farm Bureau

Also, as an 11th hour ambush, a small group (1-2) with a loud voice (at least in the Committee) weighed in demanding various amendments, non of which were adopted in the end. I think the fact that they came out viciously in the 11th hour (our bill has been around for 4 years) and characterized the bill as "horrible, the worst...." sent their credibility into a bit of a tailspin at least in this committee.

However, it was clear that the voices of the opposition contained in the consortium letterhead was having an very big impact on these Senators and our bill would not survive without serious amendments. In the end, there was a compromise and as it stands, AB 363 has been amended to grandfather in all ferrets already in California as long as they are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and licensed. What these means for the several hundred thousand ferret owners in California, is that they will be decriminalized and their ferrets legalized as of Jan. 1, 1998.

As part of this compromise, the licensing fee will fund a two year study to commence on October 12th 1997 (the last day the Governor has to sign the bill). Ferret owners will have until June 30th 1998 to license their ferrets thereby legalizing them as long as they have complied with the spay/neuter and vaccination-- this didn't come up in committee but I am sure that kits will be exempt from the vaccination until they are old enough to be safely vaccinated against rabies.

I expressed CFL's concern that the Department of Fish and Game and UC Davis would not be objective or impartial in any ferret study, so an outside source will be appointed by the Fish and Game Commission after a public hearing on the matter. I also insisted that no ferrets would be released into the wild as part of this study, that it would be a violation of state humane laws to do so and I know that most in the Humane fields would adamantly oppose such action. Thankfully the Chair, Senator Hayden, and several others, agreed with that, though I fully expect DFG to continue to press this matter. After all, they have to do something with those ferrets in Rancho Cordova that they've been feeding live chicks to.

At the end of the two year study, which concludes on October 12th 2000, the data will be evaluated. At that point, another legalization bill, one that legalizes ferrets for sale and ownership similar to other domesticated pets will be introduced, because any objective study will confirm what has already taken place in California in the last eight years-- there will be no impact on wildlife from domesticated ferrets.

Californians, you have an opportunity to do yourselves and your pets a great service. You and your ferrets will be able to travel safely to the vet without fear of fine or confiscation. You will enjoy the legal ownership of each of your ferrets for its lifetime and will have taken one more step towards eventually bringing California into line with the rest of the country on this issue. You will also have fought some very powerful interests, a true David and Goliath, battle, and held your own. You will have a lot to be proud of.

But our work isn't over yet. We have to pass the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate floor. Please get letters in to the Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Pat Johnston (unfortunately the only no vote), urging him to support this bill. Visit our website at http://www.ferretnews.org for a complete listing of the next committee. This will be heard in Appropriations the next couple of weeks so please contact these Senators quickly.

Congratulations to all of you who have worked so hard to see this bill move forward. Jan again did a wonderful job in Committee and we had some touching testimony from a woman who, along with her mother, use ferrets with pediatric aids patients-- I don't want to give her name because she said in Committee she hoped DFG wouldn't retaliate.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


2-Minute Warning! Pick up those phones!

7/7/97

I just received a call from Jeanne at the State Capitol. She wanted me to put the word out that we need to call our State Senators on the Natural Resources & Wildlife Committee, starting tonight (July 7) and throughout tomorrow (July 8).

Apparently, these Senators have received a lot of pressure from the opposition; specifically the National Audubon Society, Sierra Club California, California League of Conservational Voters, Planning & Conservation League, California Waterfowl Association, and the California Farm Bureau. They even circulate their propaganda on a letterhead that bears the names of all these organizations.

Jeanne predicts that after the initial vote in tomorrow's hearing, the bill will go "on call." That means there will not be enough votes to pass or reject the bill at the time of the vote. So the committee will continue with other business until they are finished with their calendar. Members may continue to vote or change their votes as long as a measure remains "on call." Calls are usually placed at the request of a bill's author in an effort to gain votes. Calls can be lifted by request anytime during the committee hearing, but cannot be carried over into the next legislative day. If a Senator does not vote by the end of the day, they might as well have voted No. Because we need at least 5 Aye votes to pass.

So please pick up your phone and call your State Senator on the committee. ***For those of you in Senator Dede Alpert's (San Diego) and Senator Byron Sher's (Redwood City) districts, it is especially important you give them a call at their capitol phone numbers***. They are the swing votes we need for us to pass committee. For your convenience, here are the Natural Resources & Wildlife Committee phone numbers:

Senator.....District.....Capitol Office Phone.....Predicted Vote

Dede Alpert*** (D).....39th San Diego.....(916) 445-3952.....???
Tom Hayden (D) Chair.....23rd Los Angeles.....(916) 445-1353.....Aye
Maurice Johannessen (R).....4th Redding.....(916) 445-3353.....Aye
Patrick Johnston (D).....5th Stockton.....(916) 445-2407.....No
Tim Leslie (D).....1st Roseville.....(916) 445-5788.....No
Dick Monteith (R).....12th Modesto.....(916) 445-1392.....Aye
Jack O'Connell (D).....18th Santa Barbara.....(916) 445-5405.....Aye
Byron Sher*** (D).....11th Redwood City.....(916) 445-6747.....???
Mike Thompson (D) Vice Chair.....2nd Napa.....(916) 445-3375.....???

As always, please be polite and professional when making your calls. If you know people in these districts, please encourage them to call also.

Keep your fingers crossed for tomorrow. We'll need every bit of help we can get.

Scott Beisner, Webmaster
Californians for Ferret Legalization
webmaster@ferretnews.org
http://www.ferretnews.org


ON THE BRIGHT SIDE, GREAT NEWS FROM SENATOR O'CONNELL!

7/5/97

I just spoke with some terrific ferret activists in the Santa Barbara area who told me that Senator O'Connell wrote them informing them that he will vote yes on July 8th in the Senate Natural Resources Committee. They were kind enough to fax me the letter he wrote.

Senator O'Connell voted against our bill in 1995 but stated in his current letter, "I believed, at the time, that we should allow the Department of Fish and Game sufficient time to promulgate regulations to manage ferrets. Unfortunately, they have been unable to join 48 other states in recognizing the existence of ferrets and declaring them legal.... [he enumerates the spay/neuter, and vaccination requirements of our bill plus reporting and monitory of any possible feral colonies--they'll have a long wait for those colonies to form] Given all of these reasonable restrictions of making domestic ferrets legal in California I have decided to support AB 363 and will vote "aye" when it comes before me in the Natural Resources Committee."

This is great news-- and is so welcome following some very bad news I passed along earlier. All of you hard working folks in Senator O'Connell's district deserve a hearty round of applause. Senator O'Connell was not expected to support this bill. He has moved from a no to a yes which is like moving a mountian!! A warm thanks goes to Sam Solace of Ferrets Anonymous who has worked so hard in his area spreading the word. Veterinarian Dawn Thomas personally met with the Senator in his office in Sacramento, delivered CFL's informative ferret information package, and gave the issue tremendous support via the radio on several pet-related talk shows recently.

There is also an animal lover and activist who knew the Senator personally and promised to call him about our bill. I don't feel comfortable naming her in this forum but I know she was instrumental in helping us.

In any case, we wil be going in to this committee a little stronger than we expected so I hope this news elevates your spirits just a bit as it has mine.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Natural Resources Committee Hearing Scheduled for 9:30 A.M. July 8th

7/4/97

Hello everyone, it's good to be back!

I really don't know how this vote will go on Tuesday (I don't know the room number but the time is 9:30 A.M.--Jan's office will know (916) 445-2484)[Ed. Note: According to the Daily File the hearing will be in Room 112]. I did receive the very discouraging news that the block of opposition, CA Farm Bureau, CA Waterfowl, Sierra Club, DFG, Health Services, Audubon Society, Planning and Conservation League... jeez have I left out anyone? are demanding a study prior to legalization. A study! As if it's ok to classify a single domesticated species as a wild animal here and ban it. How about studying whether or not the ferret is domesticated, whether or not it belongs in the list in the first place? That ought to be the first empirical question for any scientific mind.

It should be irrelevant that the ferret just happens to have the most insignificant impact on people, the environment, and humane resources when compared to other domesticated animals. The only question should be is it or is it not a domesticated animal. But DFG has managed to cloud that issue or make it irrelevant. We need to change that. There should be no option available to California but ferret legalization. It's a matter of individual rights.

The absurd idea of a study also asks that we overlook the fact that every single other state department of Fish and Game went in exactly the opposite direction from ours on legalization (New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Michigan, Georgia, Mass, all supported legalization, California is the only state to actively oppose it.) We must also overlook the fact that 50 states report no feral ferrets. In fact, lets overlook all the facts and have California, according to the wishes of the opposition, squander taxpayer dollars asking questions that are irrelevant, questions that have already been asked and answered by so many others, because California can apparently afford to spend your money re inventing the wheel.

And the folks the opposition want to rely on for a study are the wildlife biologists at UC DAVIS who have shown extreme bias in their writings on the ferret issue since 1986. One UC biologist, when asked by CA Waterfowl ( a chief opponent of ferret legalization) to address the ferret issue, states that she reviewed research from Australia, New Zealand, and the state of Washington. How coincidental that this researcher spent her time ( and, I presume, our money, since she is faculty at UC Davis) to look at areas where ferrets were intentionally introduced to control rabbits. How interesting that the rest of the country's experience with domesticated ferrets, the absence of feral populations in the wild, for exapmple, was so readily dismissed. I am also still at a loss to know how any wildlife biologist cannot look at the statute and have the integrity to say, "hey, a domesticated species does not belong in this list of prohibited wildlife!" That's exactly the kind of integrity and honesty shown by wildife experts in New Hampshire, but that's not going to happen here. We don't seem to have that kind of wildlife biologist on the payroll at DFG or UC Davis. Any study by either of these state organizations will clearly not be an objective analysis but will be an advocacy piece for DFG's ban of the domesticated ferret.

Fact is, the only state wildlife agency to have a ferret problem (not to mention an ethics problem) and the only University to compromise it's integrity on the same issue, by throwing science overboard are in California. If you think I'm more than a little hot about this you're right. And it gets worse.

By far the most reprehensible news is that CA DFG is calling the CA Research Bureau Report biased and they want it changed to reflect their views. They specifically complained that they weren't given a chance to review it prior to its release. CALIFORNIANS, PLEASE WAKE UP IF YOU'RE SLEEPING! This report was requested by the legislature and was intended to be an objective study that looked at our claims, DFG's claims, then went to third parties for the answers. CA DFG didn't like the answers they received and want it altered to affect their views, or as they did with the PRI report, they'll trash it!

But this is standard modus operandi for CA DFG. You might recall my update relating how DFG lied to the Fish and Game Commission in 1986 about ferrets decimating a population of endangered terns in MASS. Fact is, someone from CA DFG called to see if ferrets were legal in MA and received some answers he didn't like-- the caller was told that though ferrets were not legal, MA Fisheries and Wildlife supported legalization, indeed sponsored a bill to legalize them. Yet somehow this translated into a tern orgy by ferrets on Monomoy Island in California DFG's official report to the Fish and Game Commission. Again, CALIFORNIANS WAKE UP! These people play dirty. They lie, they cheat, and they are about to steal from you if they get their way with this so called study.

If there are any of you who have sat back and complacently expected AB 363 to pass without your full-tilt involvement, you'd better get in gear ASAP. In fact, it may already be too late since the policy committee hearing is right around the corner!

Did I say it was good to be back?!!!!!

I have to tell you that I'm worried on the eve of this vote. I see the opposition working its lies, massaging them to suit their various audiences. DFG picks up information on the internet, using articles by ferret shelters about full or overflowing shelters, then sends them to humane groups hoping to buy their opposition. Thankfully, what most of these groups also know is that municipal animal control and humane agencies don't see many ferrets. They're not euthanizing hundreds or thousands, or hundreds of thousands of ferrets precisely because of the hard work of the people running ferret shelters. Where are the dog and cat people calling for spay/neuter for their preferred pets? How many no-kill dog/cat shelters are there? It's a sickness at DFG that causes them to try to turn the love and commitment ferret owners have for these animals against them. I don't think this lame humane tactic will work but you need to know what DFG is up to and why we must not give up. We will need to literally fight a war to win ferret legalization in California.

If we lose this committee vote the bill becomes a two year bill. It is my understanding that we will not have to go through the Assembly again, but we will still have to pass the Senate policy committees, the Senate floor, and the Governor. And I'm sure I don't have to remind you that Jan is leaving at the end of this session (1998).

If each one of you Californians could make a personal commitment to see that your Senator receives 100 letters from friends, family, co-workers, other animal lovers at pet stores, vet offices etc. we may still have a chance. It may also mean you will need to set up a meeting with your local farm bureau and Sierra Club chapter to voice your concern about their unfair opposition to this bill. Opposition to AB 363 is not based on facts but on the brotherhood established between lobbying groups in Sacramento, and their relationship to DFG. And you pay the price (fines and confiscation of your ferret) for having chosen a safer pet to the articulated "concerns" of these groups. Your ferret is safer to the environment, to ducks and other birds, to endangered species, to people, than any backyard, OR BARNYARD, OR HUNTING DOG, or lapdog that the members of these groups so readily enjoy with impunity. Yet you are a criminal. Don't let them do this to you without fighting for your rights to live in peace with the domesticated companion animal of your own choosing! How ironic that you can have a cat (uneutered and outdoors) and they are silent. What does that tell you about facts?

I know there are thousands of Californians that aren't doing anything to help with legalization. Some we haven't yet reached, some we've touched but they remain unconvinced, unconnected or complacent. Their help, your help, is critical. At least the word is getting out about our efforts here. Both Modern Ferret Magazine and Critters, USA have donated full pages for our WANTED posters and Allie of AllieCats is donating 100+ ferret legalization buttons with the most adorable con in California asking for Yes votes on AB 363 which we'll have on hand in Long Beach for the pet store convention. But it may not be fast enough. Please get involved. We can help. Let us know where to mail you a ferret fact sheet and new Senate Wanted poster. Write your State Senator now and get those posters up to spread the word.

We also have a new webpage and domain name (www.ferretnews.org) and you may not realize that the cost of the site and the name, not to mention all of the time, are donated by our webmaster Scott Beisner. It's a terrific page, always up to date and I know it is one of our best sources of new interest. I have also seen California updates in so many ferret newsletters from Virginia to Oregon and even overseas and I know that all Californians appreciate the support we've been given by the ferret community. Really a sincere thank you is owed to all of you for your generous efforts to help with legalization in California.

Sorry this post is so long. I did notice that a few people kept a candle burning for California on the FML and I wish I could have brought better news for you all.

Keep a good thought for California on Tuesday. Maybe there will be good news by then. I hope so.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Countdown until next Committee

7/1/97

The countdown has started. AB 363 is scheduled to be heard in the Natural Resources Committee on July 8, 1997. Have you written your Senator yet? If you haven't, this may be your last chance. Senator not on the Committee? Then write the Chair, Tom Hayden.

Remember, even though the Senate is half the size of the Assembly, the Senate is expected to be twice the battle. We WILL NOT pass the Senate without everybody's help. So please get your family and friends involved, even though they are probably sick of hearing you pester them for one more letter.

Jeanne is expected back soon, and I'm sure she has a big fish story or two. So let's not let her down.

Please don't let this be the big one that got away! Write your Senator now!

Scott Beisner, Webmaster
Californians for Ferret Legalization
webmaster@ferretnews.org

P.S. How do you like the new domain name (web address)?


AB 363 Represented at the World Wide Pet Supply Trade Show & Two New PetCo's

6/20/97

Before I forget, I want to let anyone who might want to contact me that I will be out of town from Sunday, June 22- July 3rd. Having worked a literal ton of weekends for months straight, I'm "a goin' fishin'." I'm referring e-mails regarding our bill to Doreen Roberts-doreenmar@aol.com, or to Scott Beisner-beisners@ccnet.com. If you are interested in scheduling a district meeting with your State Senator, please contact Doreen. If you have questions about the status of the bill, please contact Scott. I know this is a bad time to go away, but never knowing if we're going to survive each year means late-fall vacations only (after the legislative session is over) and that's a very busy time for me with my other work.

EVENTS COMING UP

CFL will be getting the word out about AB 363 to hundreds of CA pet stores in Long Beach where we have been given a booth free!! The WWPSA show is July 11-13, so tell your favorite store to stop by. Volunteers Debbie A. and Melissa W. who were terrific at the Pet Expo in L.A., will be helping to ensure that every CA pet store that stops by will receive a WANTED poster for display, filled in with the name, address etc. of their State Senator. Even if we don't make it out of Committee on July 8th (I hate to even think about this but it is a possiblity) we will still further the effort by spreading the word. Unfortunately this event is open to the trade only, otherwise I'd invite any ferret fan in the area to stop by.

Also available for the show to try to help raise money and awareness are wonderful Wanted pins with everyone's favorite convict and the words "WANTED Yes on AB 363." These pins were DONATED by Allie of AllieCats. She makes beautiful products and met her beau (a real ferret fan) via the internet. The pins are adorable, and will help us raise some much needed $$. So far, we have printed over 12,000 WANTED posters, and produced mailings reaching over 3,500 Californians! It's been a lot of stamps, envelops, and posters, but your help has seen us through so far. Thanks to everyone who's been so supportive.

CFL will also be at two new PetCo openings, one this weekend in Santa Rosa and one in Novato in August. We are also hoping to be a Stockton Pet Co soon. For more information on these acivities contact Margaret at CAOutlaws@aol.com.

Bye everyone, talk to you in a couple of weeks.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Legislative Alert

6/13/97

At a recent meeting in Sacramento with the supporters of AB 363, the concensus was that the Senate is going to be tough but that it is possible to pass this bill. It is essential that as many Californians make contact via letter, phone and district meeting, their State Senators. I've been advised that while the Assembly is a bit more rough and tumble, the Senate is definitely more reserved so please make sure that the tone of your letters is polite and respectful and that the letters highlight the facts about ferrets. Be sure to mention that the California Research Bureau recently researched the ferret issue and concluded:

"Discussions (by telephone) with personnel in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, South Carolina and Wyoming elicited no evidence of feral colonies of ferrets or of any significant survival of the animals in the wild, nor of reported impact on native wildlife caused by escaped domestic ferrets... It appears improbable that domestic ferrets could establis h feral colonies in California, given the risks of ferrets themselves being prey."

On another note, you should know that State Senator Tim Leslie sits on the Senate Natural Resources Committee and will vote on July 8th on ferret legalization in California. I have met him and he seems to be a decent person but is under pressure from the Farm Bureau to vote no on our bill. Senator Leslie is also running for the state-wide office of Lieutenant Governor. Though you may not reside in his district he needs to know that the people of California support the right of their citizens to own the domesticated pet of their choice.

Pease write Senator Leslie to ask for his support for AB 363. California's farmers will not be hurt by this bill. Ferrets do not survive in the wild and every backyard or barnyard animal is more of a threat to the environment than is a domesticated ferret. Also, AB 363 represents the kind of legislation that California's farmers want: less regulation and respect for private property! Tell Senator Leslie he should support all of California's citizens who are hurt by government over-regulation. Please be polite and respectful in your letters. His address is:

State Senator Tim Leslie
State Capitol, Room 4081
Sacramento, CA 95814

Your hard work and excellent grassroots efforts made the victory a sweeping one in the Assembly. We know the Senate will be much, much tougher so please double those efforts and spread the word among your family, friends, and co-workers that they must write or call their Senator now. Consider asking for a table outside a local pet store and have letters addressed and ready for the public to sign. This is a process of undoing over a decade of misinformation about the ferret from the Department of Fish and Game so please keep up the pressure!

Sincerely,

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Send this to your Editors Please!!!!

6/12/97

I faxed this late last night to Jan's office and apparently he was in (I know it was after 9:00 P.M!). When I called this morning to see if I should send this out, I was told Yes, Yes, Yes, and that their office would help. You also need to help by sending this along with a letter to your local paper telling them that its time to stop hurting people over such an innocent thing as owning a ferret as a pet.

Please help get the Yidman's story out!

Jeanne

For Immediate Release:

June 13, 1997

Konstantina and Michael Yidman of Sweden landed last night at San Francisco International airport so Michael can share his engineering expertise with Photonic Systems, Inc. of Mountain View, CA. The Ydiman family also includes son Anders, age 16, daughter Athanasia, age 18, and Romeo age 3.

Romeo is neither son nor daughter, but he's still a member of the family. He's Athanasia's pet ferret given her for her 15th birthday. Romeo is the only pet the Yidman family has since Konstantina's asthma prevents them from having a dog or cat.

Before leaving Sweden, the Yidman family checked and re-checked with the US embassy in Stockholm and Air France, and were told in both cases that it would be no problem to bring their ferret to California.

Upon arrival at SFO, customs agents seized Romeo and took him from the family. Now the Yidmans anxiously fret over his fate, and his loss has left them stunned and heartbroken- welcome to California, the only state on the continent to ban ferrets.

Though the State Assembly just passed a bill (AB 363- Goldsmith) to legalize the domesticated ferret by an overwhelming 64-8 vote, it has to pass the Senate and the Governor before becoming law. In the meantime people like the Yidmans continue to suffer the consequences of this unjustified and meritless prohibition. How many more people have to get hurt before this ridiculous law is changed?

For more information contact:

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
415 851-3750


A Message From Jan Goldsmith & Final Vote Tally for AB 363-- It's a whopper!!!!

6/8/97

The following is a message I just received from our author. It is clearly intended for all of you! And, I just got the news that we've added 5 more in support of our ferret bill and sadly one more opposed. Those voting in support are Migden, Bowen, Campbell, Napolitano and Woods!!! Frusetta voted no. This information is from the legislative home page of the CA Assembly. Take a look for yourself and enjoy:

Ayes: 64 Noes: 8 Abstaining or not voting: 8
Click here for the actual Roll Call Vote Tally.

FOLKS, THIS IS A LANDSLIDE!!!!!!

Here's the message from Jan.

Jeanne:

I just want to thank and congratulate ferret enthusiasts for their big victory on Thursday. You overcame some very strong opposition, although that opposition is clearly based upon misinformation.

Members of the Assembly were convinced. The applause on the floor from members was among the strongest and genuine since I have been in the Assembly. We applaud, perhaps, 5 or 10 bills a year- out of thousands. Your cause touched our members because they understand it is an example of government over-regulating something personal and comparatively harmless.

Now, on to the Senate.

We may get an early hearing in the Natural Resources Committee. As you may recall, this committee killed SB 55 last year. So, this will be a challenge. But, by no means should you be discouraged. I believe we can get this bill through the Senate and have it signed by the Governor. But, it is going to take hard work by a lot of people because the misinformation has to be corrected.

Some of the best tools for showing the truth on this issue are the new California State Library report, the Pacific Research Institute report, and the support letters from the California Animal Control Directors Association, the veterinarians association and the poultry industry association.

However, the best tool is personal contact with Senators by constituents. A visit to the district or Sacramento office, a letter and a telephone call.

It is also important for people to write letters to the editor and call in talk shows about this issue. Take the theme that this is an example of government intrusion into our rights, this silly ban is costing taxpayers millions of dollars, people are going to jail over this while we do not have jail space for real criminals and that California is the only state in the continental U.S. to ban pet ownership of domestic ferrets.

The members of the Senate Natural Resources Committee are fair minded and sensitive. The key swing votes might be Senators Pat Johnston, Mike Thompson, Tim Leslie and Dede Alpert. They are all good members who do their homework.

It will not be easy getting this bill through the Senate. But, it can be done.

Again, congratulations on your well-deserved victory in the Assembly.

Jan

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

All of you should know that Jan has been a tireless champion of this issue and deserves much of the credit for this recent win. However, all of his hard work would be wasted if it were not for your letters, phone calls and meetings with your representatives. You have sent the strongest message to the legislature that it is time for the good people of California to be decriminalized for such innocent act of ferret ownership. Without your efforts on this bill's behalf, we would not have had the kind of victory we did in the Assembly.

Here are the Members of the Natural Resources Committee (thank you Debbie A.)

Californians for Ferret Legalization is asking that ferret folks coordinate with us to schedule district meetings with each and every State Senator. We can provide constituents with the documents Jan mentioned above but we must coordinate this effort because we can only send one packet per Senate district (though 3-5 people can go to the district meetings).

Please e-mail or phone me to let me know you are working to schedule a district meeting. Start making those phone calls to your State Senators NOW!! District meetings are held locally on Fridays only so they fill up fast. Try to see the Senator in the district. Tell your Senator that this bill is very important to you and your family. Be polite but persistent because it is his/her job to listen to the concerns of constituents. If the Senator asks that you come to Sacramento please see them in their Sacramento office if it is at all possible!

In any case, get in touch with me if you are successful in setting up a district meeting so I can get you a packet of information to you. I'm supposed to take a much delayed vacation in late June, we'll see if I still get to go, but if I do, I will make sure that there's someone else that has the packets to ship to you.

In addition, Senator Leslie is running for State-wide office (for the life of me I can't remember which) but all of us should write to him. Senator Thompson is running for the N. CAL congressional office so he needs tons of letters from N. California. Please double your efforts in the Senate. We will need everyone to givbe 100% on this to win.

Also, you can see how important it is to get good, accurate press on this issue. Please write to the editor of your local papers. A very bi-partisan Assembly vote sends this bill to the Senate. That alone should tell these editors something about the merits of this bill.

Congratulations Californians on shepherding ferret legalization successfully through the Assembly.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


LA Times Trivializes Ferret Issue

6/6/97

It is very, very important for the ferret bill to receive the kind of coverage it deserves. Clearly, the position of the Department of Fish and Game and Health Services has been well articulated in the news media since day one, while our reasons for promoting ferret legalization (the question of personal freedom, the decriminalization of thousands of good people, the correct classification of the ferret as domesticated, abuse of government authority, waste of taxpayer dollars etc.) has barely been covered.

Take for instance these excerpts from the LA Times article that appeared today:

"In the Assembly, legislators approved the ferret bill by a surprisingly wide 59-7 margin despite opposition from state health officials and the Department of Fish and Game where officials fear ferrets-- a non-native species-- will escape from their owners, become wild and cause havoc to native animals."

"This is a rotten, dirty little rat and we ought to kill this bill and every ferret we can get our hands on, " Assemblyman Richard Floyd (D-Wilmington)said.

Proponents of the ferret bill responded that it was a matter of freedom.

"If you're going to take people's rights away, you'd better have some reason for it," said Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith (R-Poway), the bill's author.

The ferret, native to Europe, was imported mainly to hunt rabbits. Hunters would send the long narrow-bodied creature down rabbit holes to chase rabbits out. With one exception of a subspecies, the ferret is one of a long list of animals not native to the United States that California will not allow to be imported."

Californians, please read this section again! Where do you see any information about the documented ABSENCE of feral ferrets in the United States? Where do you see any information that the other 48 states and the rest of the world are right and California is wrong? Where do you see the statement that the rest of our pets are not native to the United States, yet most of them do go feral?

Reading this article it appears California's doing the right thing. After all, the ferret isn't native to this country and our "officials" fear that it will cause havoc in the wild! Has the Times been balanced in this article? Absolutely not! They take the "concerns" of a couple of State Agencies at face value and do not present facts from CDC, Journal of the American Medical Association, Pacific Research Institute, Office of Technology Assessment, California Research Bureau, other State Departments of Fish and Game....... In other words, they present the completely invalid views of these State Agencies while ignoring third party research from other states, other agencies, other organizations who aren't even a party to this piece of legislation--- THIS IS NOT JOURNALISM!!

Please e-mail or write the editor of the LA Times to complain that apparently the LA Times does not care about a balanced look at the reasons for this bill. Tell the editor that other bills to legalize the ferret had the support of their respective Departments of Fish and Game. Tell the editor that the only reason this bill is necessary is because DFG made a mistake 63 years ago when they put the DOMESTICATED animal in a WILDLIFE list. Tell her it should not be surprising at all that the vote was overwhelming, but what is surprising is that the LA Times apparently doesn't consider the jailing of a young ferret owner a serious violation of the ethics of good government!

Please have your friends and family write letters to the editor of the LA Times. Our Bill deserves a good hard look by this paper at the merits. We deserve a balanced presentation in the media! Please write immediately to:

Mary Cox
Editor, LA Times
Mirror Square
Los Angeles, CA 90053
Mary.Cox@latimes.com

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


AB 363 PASSES ASSEMBLY BY AN OVERWHELMING VOTE! CAUTION FERRETS STILL BANNED

6/5/97

Today AB 363 passed the Assembly floor, a milestone for this bill, by a whopping 59-7 vote with 14 abstentions or absentees. I say absentees because there may be two or three memebers that did not get the chance to vote on the bill and will add on later today or tonight. Jan Goldsmith did an excellent job of presenting this bill in all of our committees and on the floor he was forceful and articulate. He presented this issue as a matter of personal freedom and showed the ferret in the context of domesticated pet ownership to be a safer pet to people and the environment.

A word of caution:

FERRETS ARE STILL BANNED IN CALIFORNIA. Before our bill becomes law it must pass two committees in the Senate and be signed by the Governor (I believe it may also become law without his signature but I'm not sure-- in any case, it cannot be vetoed). So, if you own ferrets, do not take them out in public please.

During the floor vote, though, something happened that put a slight scare into all of us but turned out to be pretty funny in the end. When AB 363 came up there was some discussion in favor and against and then the rolls opened for the vote. For those of you who haven't seen this on TV, the place to watch is a large black board with the members' names and a green (yes) or red (no) dot next to it. As the members vote, these buttons light up red or green, yes or no. At the top of the board you can see the tallies as the votes come in 26 in red means 26 noes and 31 greens means 31 yesses.

As our bill votes came in something really wierd happened. The yesses (green lights) seemed to come up really slowly 3-5-7-9 instead of the 8-15-25 kind of thing that we'd seen on the dozens of votes ahead of us, and the noes shot up for a second to 25-26, something like that. I looked at my friends in the gallery, Margaret, Shelly, Lili, and Susan and thought, this bill is going to die! Suddenly I saw the yesses shoot up to 18-26-40-53-ending at 59. What the heck? Come to find out later that Jan's buddies on the floor had played a little joke on him! Needless to say the tense Gallery visitors erupted with aplause. There was significant applause from the floor as well, Assemblymembers are going to finally get some relief from the mail and phone calls :).

Jan asked us to come down on to the floor after the vote and we were able to thank some of the members and speak to some of the press. We then took ferret fact sheets to our Senate representatives offices. The staff at my State Senator's office, Senator Sher, was visited first by Shelly, Margaret, Lili and Susan and I was told that they would support if the staff received one ferret calendar each (four). Not a problem!

Everyone who worked so hard to see this bill pass please pat yourselves on the back and say, "Job well done." We took on two major state agencies, three major private state organizations and two state chapters of large national associations and we won because we did our footwork and our letter-writing and our phone-calling and because the facts are on our side. Please call or write your own Assemblymember and pass along a big thank you for their support.

Now get ready to work twice as hard in the Senate. I'm going to give everyone a reality check here. We've had years to educated the Assembly and have a very committed author in Jan Goldsmith. Typically bills do better in their houses of origin where their author resides. Also typical, and something that our lobbyist said to me last year, is that bills go to the Senate to die. THIS BILL CANNOT DIE! AND YOU ARE THE KEY!

Please find out immediately the name and address of your State Senator and write him/her asking for a district meeting about AB 363. District meetings with the Senators are critical for the passage of this bill so call me if you want to organize or participate in one of these meetings.

We'll have new WANTED posters available soon that ask folks to write to their State Senator and to the Governor. We'll need to get those up and make new contacts and spread the word. All of you should call your papers or write letters to the editor letting them know that a good thing has happened in California and that it should be passed in the Senate. Let's all work hard to see that ferrets are legalized this year!

Congratulations everyone on a job well done!

P.S. We still don't know how the Sierra Club or Audubon Society will come out in the end. I think we need to keep up the letters and phone calls especially to the Sierra Club. I was advised that the committee was split against revising their position on our bill but that there might be room for some change. This is extremely disappointing and speaks volumes about the wisdom of the direction of committees! Please help spread the word about the Sierra Club's anti AB 363 position.

[Editor's Note: It can't be stressed enough that everybody should take the time to contact their respective Assembly Members and thank them for their support. They chose to listen to us and examine the facts rather than listen to the lies being told about the domestic ferret. They deserve our deepest thanks.]

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


ASSEMBLY VOTE TOMORROW!! CA Research Bureau Report Generally Favorable

6/4/97

I just heard from Jan's office and was told that AB 363 will be heard tomorrow!

Anyone interested should go to the third floor of the old capitol building, (Routunda) and go to the Gallery (you'll have to ask as I don't know). I was told that cameras are not allowed in the Gallery, so it's best to leave them in the car-- they'll be taken from you and one of Jan's constituents had his camera broken, so they recommend not bringing one in.

As to the timing, we don't know. Some of us are planning to arrive 9:00 (anyone travelling with me should meet me at 6:30 at my house) but I can't stay 'till midnight, only about 3:00-3:30 P.M. The bill could be heard anytime so we might see it we might not. I hope you'll come anyway and see how this process works, assuming it does work.

On another note, the California Research Bureau (Government Research Agency) called me quite a while ago to ask for information on the ferret issue. Researcher Kenneth Umbach told me that he had received such contradictory information from DFG and ferret enthusiasts that when he was asked by "someone" to look into the issue he decided to look for third party information. I sent him all of our documents and he called various states, read several research papers, spoke by telephone with ferret owners, and cruised the internet. When our author's office called to say they got a copy of the report my first reaction was the usual-- it's going to be biased against the issue, the truth etc. since this is just another arm of the government.

Well, not so. The report is very interesting and surprisingly unbiased. It presents DFG views, our views and then concludes with an evidence and discussion of each based on third party documents. It is certainly less acerbic and witty than the PRI report, but does present the ferret as less of a threat to people and wildlife than other domesticated animals. "Conclusion It appears improbable that domestic ferrets could establish feral colonies in California, given the risks of ferrets themselves being prey." Overall it's a good report and I think this is the agency to conduct a study should there be one on ferrets.

The only problem I have with the report is the suggestion that one option for a study would involve releasing ferrets into the wild to see how they do. Before you get crazy like I did, it's only presented as one option (I'm sure this came from DFG). "Alternatively, and easier to accomplish, the Legislature could commission an extensive and impartial survey of states in which possession of ferrets is legal, conducted by an agency or organizaion, such as the California Research Bureau, that is not a party to the dispute over legalization, to determine what impacts have been observed."

Californians for Ferret Legalization has already advised Jan that we will use all of our resources to fight an attempt to condemn ferrets to certain death by releasing them into the wild. This inane idea came up several years ago and at the time I spoke with the president of the State Humane Board and Virginia Handley of Fund for Animals. I believe we will have their support to block any such inhumane scenario. I will do everything in my power to make sure that kind of institutionalized abuse does not happen.

Anyway, I hope many of you can come to the Capitol tomorrow and if you do, say hello to your own legislators office (including your State Senator).

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


AB 363 and Oliver Ferret

6/1/97

Californians: We have only a few days left to effect the outcome of AB 363. Can each of you pledge to have 4 or 5 new contacts call your state Assembly representative and ask them to vote yes on AB 363 between Monday and Wednesday? Please make this last effort to help our bill pass the Assembly with the widest margin possible.

Everyone: Thanks again for your wonderful support regarding the Audubon and Sierra Club opposition. We should know on Monday how the Sierra Club will go on our bill and I know everyone is keeping their fingers crossed. I'll let you know. It makes absolutely no sense for them to oppose this bill, I can't imagine them continuing to fight it.

Non Residents: Does anyone have some room in their heart and home for Oliver? Oliver ferret was surrendered to our local humane society. He just had his right adrenal gland removed and his hair is growing back nicely. He's five years old, sable and is very kissy-face. He appeared with me on the Bay TV show and I need to send him out of state. My friend and fellow rescuer on the Penninsula just shipped several ferrets to the Northern Nevada ferret rescue, and one of the last ferrets I shipped to Arizona ferret rescue was an older ferret that just had the surgery. I just got in another ferret that was bitten by a dog-- he's got a bladder infection but should be ok, and apparently there's another one waiting to be picked up tomorrow.

I need to find Oliver a permanent home out of state, hopefully by the end of the week because his vet health certificate runs out. The others will be shipped in time (hopefully an owner or two will come forward to help with the expenses), but it is now time for Oliver to go to a loving family. Is there anyone that can help this CA ferret? I'd prefer that you live near a large airport and are from one of the western states, and of course, promise to love the little guy like crazy.

Let me know if you can care for this lovely older gentleman ferret-- he's stocky, has an adorable mask, and is very affectionate.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Meeting With Sierra Club/Audubon Society

5/29/97

Today my father and I and Jan Goldsmith's legislative aide had a meeting with John McCaul (Audubon Society) and William Craven (Sierra Club) regarding AB 363. In general, we were met by open minds, especially Mr. McCaul from Audubon. He said he had received some e-mail from ferret-owning Audubon members out of state (thank you, thank you all of you) and also received our factual data (Fish and Game letters, OTA study etc.), plus lots of letters and e-mails that were "impassioned" but, in his opinion, not overboard. He is inclined to believe that ferrets cannot survive outdoors. Mr. McCaul said he would not work the floor against this issue and would present our material to his "boss", Mr Taylor.

Mr. Craven was also deluged with information and when he brought up some concerns was presented with the facts. For instance, one of the first mentions he made was a study that talked about the feral populations of ferrets on San Juan Island. I asked him to take a look at a letter from WA Fish and Game stating that the ferrets had died out there before he went on...... He read the letter, smiled, put the letter in his folder, and moved on. I feel we also have an open mind there but am more concerned about the committee. They're the ones that will vote on this and I hope everyone will keep up the pressure on the Sierra Club (gentle pressure, remember).

Thanks for all your hard work, letters, phone calls, e-mails. It is paying off and we may be able to get these organizations to back off from their previous positions.

In the meantime, please re-contact your State Assemblyman to ask for their support for AB 363 if they haven't committed already. Our floor vote will most likely happen on Thursday or Friday of next week and we'd love to fill the gallery, so anyone that is interested in coming, please keep in touch.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


AB 363 "Inactive"? - Don't worry

5/28/97

For those of you who have subscribed to AB 363 through the Legislative Counsel, you may have noticed that the bill was placed in the "Inactive File per A.R. 78." I dug up this Assembly Rule and it seemes that this action is a routine step. If anything, it gives us a chance to remind our Assembly Members to support our bill. But don't delay! The bill will be voted on prior to June 6th!

Here is Rule 78 of the STANDING RULES OF THE ASSEMBLY 1997-98 REGULAR SESSION:

Inactive File

78. Whenever a bill has been passed twice on the third reading file on two successive legislative days, it shall be placed forthwith upon a special file to be known as the inactive file. A bill also may be placed on the inactive file at the request of the author. When a bill has been placed on the inactive file, it may be returned to the third reading file by request of the author. Notice of the request to return the bill to the third reading file shall be published one day in advance in the Assembly File. The bill, when returned to the third reading file, shall then be placed at the foot of the third reading file.

When a bill, placed on the inactive file from the second reading file or the unfinished business file, is removed from the inactive file, it shall be returned to the foot of the second reading file or the unfinished business file, respectively, in the next published Daily File.

Scott Beisner, Webmaster
Californians for Ferret Legalization
beisners@ccnet.com


Audubon Society and Sierra Club Actively Soliciting Opposition

5/26/97

As we approach the final countdown to the Assembly vote in California, any of you who have not contacted your State Assemblyman must do it immediately. The Audubon Society has been actively contacting other widlife organizations looking for additional opposition to legalizing ferrets in California. I'm continually amazed to see an organization take a stand on an issue without any supporting data.

When I contacted one woman who apparently had been contacted by the Audubon Society and had the good sense to ask for information via the internet, she was astounded to learn that 1) ferrets were domesticated, and 2) that they were strictly housebound animals and 3) that they were incapable of surviving outdoors and 4) that our bill has a spay/neuter clause..... in other words, the information she'd received from Audubon was, well, since it came from Fish and Game, just what you can imagine.

Californians, we have only a few legislative days left before the vote must happen. If AB 363 is to survive, you must contact your Assemblyman. If you've done so already, re-contact them and let them know that the opposition has no right to tell a citizen which domesticated pet to own and that bills in other states had NO opposition from wildlife or farm interests. Tell them that the Department of Fish and Game is totally out of control on the ferret issue and has a history of lying to the public, the legislature, and other officials about the true nature of the ferret.

If you've recently contacted your representative, please, please enlist the help of your friends and business associates. Take your representatives telephone/fax number to work and get those phone calls coming in. Remember 10 phone calls from one person can be dismissed, but 10 phone calls from different people will mean something. Also, we don't know how many misled Audubon members and Sierra Club members (the Sierra Club has a call to action on their CA website that requests that their members call in their opposition) are contacting their representatives.

If you've sat this whole process out, you may see AB 363 not survive to even see the light of day in the Senate! Get involved, and get your friends and family involved. Please make yourself a pledge to get at least 10 new people to contact your representative in the next few days. All you have to do is to look in the front of your yellow pages, in the blue government pages for a listing of your State representatives. It's that easy.

For those of you in the Bay Area, Bay TV, channel 35 (I believe) will be doing a short segment on the ferret issue tomorrow morning at about 8:15 A.M.

Those of you outside CA can really help by putting pressure on the Audubon and Sierra Club National offices as well as the CA offices. It's absolutely insane out here where black is white and up is down as far as ferrets are concerned. And not just Californians pay the price, you do too. You are not welcome here is the message!

With all of the pressures here, I've still been following the KODO saga and can only keep a candle of hope lit in my heart for him. If reason prevails in Michigan, it will hopefully send a message to California that when ferrets are legalized, shed time known or not, reason shall prevail in bite instances or there will be similar action taken.

Best wishes to us all in the coming days.

P.S.

L.I.F.E. has a new ferret news service that I think is very worthwhile. It's called the Independent Ferret News Service and you can subscribe by e-mailing majordomo@kreative.net with the message: subscribe ferretnewserv. If we all stay informed on major issues, we can fight for what's right for these little guys.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


A REQUEST FROM OUR AUTHOR'S OFFICE++Letters to the Editor

5/20/97

Jan's office called today. Dad and I (if I can get off that day) are going to have a meeting with Mr. Craven next week. Hopefully Jan will be able to attend as well. We don't know if there will be an open mind at that meeting or not, but one thing Peter (Jan's aide) requested was that the ferret folks tone down their letters. Apparently some have called the Sierra Club Nazis and other names and that has hurts our efforts.

Remember, it is entirely appropriate to let an organization know that their facts are inaccurate or absent, to let them know of your disapproval, and your outrage. But we must remember to always stop short of name-calling. It serves no purpose but to make the writer feel better and usually ends up hurting the very cause one hopes to advance. Dad and I are currently trying to enlist the help of one well known animal rights advocate who was apparently offended some years ago by an overzealous ferret spokes person and abandoned the cause.

Keep your letters to the Sierra Club from going over the edge, please. As I explained to Peter, there will be some emotion in these letters because good people are fined, jailed, lose their pets, their apartments etc. because of a mistake the State made over 60 years ago. When an organization like the Sierra Club sanctions that, folks are going to be outraged. After all, unless there are only gold fish owners at the Sierra Club, virtually any pet their members own will and has done more damage to the environment than the ferret!

There is nothing wrong with an impassioned position or letter, but no one will listen if the tone becomes abusive. So please, remember if you're really angry to go ahead and write a letter with all of the names you'd like to call someone, then throw that letter away and write one that the reader can not dismiss because though it may be angry, it is still respectfull.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Both Jan and Bud Jackson have recommended that we continue to write letters to the editors of our local newspapers. These letters should question the validity of the Sierra Club's positon in opposing the legalization of one of the safest pets to the environment as well as Californias first spay/neuter bill.

You can find the address for the editor in your local newspaper.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


CFL Response to Sierra Club/Audubon++Thanks to Those Who Have Donated!

5/19/97

First I'd like to say thanks to everyone who has sent in a donation in the last few weeks. I'm behind in my thank you's but I've been trying to get a little more sleep lately. I think I caught Jan Goldsmith by surprise though when he called a little over an hour ago and found me in the office at 9:00 P.M.! I really don't want to get sick, there's so much to do!

Anyway, there was a very generous surprise from a real savior in Michgan. I don't know how to thank her but her generosity will keep us in stamps for a while. Generous donations also came in from Kentucky and Alaska and I'm always touched by support from people out of state, though given poor Kodo's plight and the love for ferrets that we all have, that shouldn't suprise me.

Here, for what it is worth, is CFL's response to the Sierra Club. Please keep the letters coming (or going) to them and the Audubon Society. If any of this information helps, use it!

Jeanne

P.S. Please keep your fingers crossed for us, our bill will be heard on or before June 6th.


AB 363 Inactive For Now But Will Be Heard Anytime Before June 5

5/16/97

I know many of you have been getting word that the bill has been moved to the inactive file. Jan is working out some of the language of the amendments will one of the members of the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee that supported the bill and said he will be moving the bill to the floor anytime between now and June 5th.

We're still scheduled to be heard at this point, so don't worry, just keep up the pressure on your Assemblymembers by recruiting friends and family members to write and call.


AB 363 Eligible For Floor Vote May 19 through June 5

5/15/97

Jan's office advises that our bill, AB 363, is eligible for a Floor Vote (by all Assembly Members) as early as
(Monday) May 19, but no later than (Thursday) June 5.

Therefore, you have a finite window to make that call, or write that letter to your respective Assembly Member. If you have already done your duty, then get your family and friends involved. When the subject comes up, tell them to write. Every letter counts. We must keep going if we are to succeed.


Feral Population Studies To Cite for Sierra Club/Audubon Corres

5/13/97

I've had a few folks ask me what studies to cite when they receive a reply from the Sierra Club or Audubon Society.

All 50 states in the United States were surveyed and asked a single question: Are there any feral ferrets in your state?

There were 50 replies in the negative to this question! And they are on the letterheads of each state! These are being forwarded to the Sierra Club and Audubon Society.

In addition, the Office of Technology Assessment published the results of a three year study in 1993 entitled, "Harmful Non-Indigenous Species in the United States." The focus of the study was non-native wildlife but eight domesticated animals were listed as feral in the United States: the dog, cat, horse, goat, pig, sheep, rabbit and burro. Ferrets were not listed at all because they do not survive outdoors at all!!!

You should also know that recent bills to legalize ferrets in Georgia, Michigan, and Massachusetts did not have oppositon from any wildlife agencies, or organizations.


Sierra Club/Audubon E-mail addresses

5/12/97

Someone was kind enough to spend a considerable amount of time researching Sierra Club and Audubon e-mail addresses. In my insane schedule I'd forgotten about them, so click HERE to find them!


AB 363 TO BE VOTED ON THIS WEEK OR NEXT IN THE ASSEMBLY!

5/12/97

Latest news from Jan's office is that the bill will be voted on this week or next, so make your wishes politely heard at the office of your Assembly member, and make sure you get your friends, family and co-workers to call as well. Each call or letter is worth 100 constituents.

CFL is doing a huge mailing because we want a big win in the Assembly and the letters going out will be a great primer for the Senate. Each of approximately 1500-2,000 people will receive a letter identifying their Assemblyman and State Senator. They'll also get the information about the Sierra Club and Audubon Society opposition and who to write to about that shameful situation. Unfortunately the timing for the FA newsletter will mean that is should be in your hands just after the vote, so we decided to take the plunge and get the word out.

Keep a good thought for us.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


A CALL FOR HELP!

5/10/97

Californians for Ferret Legalization has printed over 4,000 Wanted posters so far, plus thousands of Ferret Fact Sheets, and now, over 1,000 Legislative Alerts regarding the Sierra Club/Audubon opposition. We've advised ferret enthusiasts via first class mail of the fact that their representative would determine the outcome of the vote in the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, as well as the Appropriations Committee, and they should write or phone immediately to have their position heard. Those mailings alone totaled almost 900 individuals. We also receive between 7-15 inquiries each week about the legislation in California and mail information packets to all Californians that contact us (due to the volume of calls and letters, I 've had to forgo requests for school project information).

As you might imagine, this is expensive and we need your help if we are to be able to continue. So far we've been successful with two legislative committee hearings going in our favor. Please help us continue this trend. The Senate will be tougher, there's no question about that and we want to reach every Californains that cares about this issue with the information he or she needs to become involved. Sadly, most of them are not on the internet, otherwise this would not be as expensive as it is turning out to be.

Please consider a donation to Californians for Ferret Legalization as we head to the Assembly floor and then hopefully on to the Senate.

Checks should be made out to:

Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road
Woodside, CA 94062

A really big thank you to all who have donated in the past. We couldn't reach the people we are reaching without your help.

Sincerely,

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


A Request From Our Author

5/9/97

Jan's office wants to remind everyone of something often overlooked-- thank you's.

Please write the Assembly members that voted yes on AB 363 both in the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, and the Appropriations Committee, thank them for their yes vote, and encourage them to continue to support this bill. If your representative abstained, please ask them why and try to provide the necessary information to change their minds. Also, get as many of your friends and family to help you as possible. You can find out the names and addresses of these Assembly members by clicking HERE!

WE ALSO NEED: LETTERS TO THE EDITORS!! CALLS TO TALK RADIO!!!

Please, Californians, this issue is not getting the attention it deserves. The Department of Fish and Game has lied to the legislature, the public, the Fish and Game Commission, the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, CA Waterfowl, and the Farm Bureau about the true nature of this animal, and you are being hurt by it. Bills to legalize ferrets in other states had no opposition from these groups! Why? Because the Fish and Game Department in California has lied and continues to lie about the ferret. If you want to win this legislative battle, you must speak out now!

We have a very powerful list of opposition due to DFG influence and lies, that includes the California Farm Bureau (who want their private property to be respected and complains about over-regulation, but is happy to see your private property confiscated by an over-regulating bureaucracy), California Waterfowl (who, though ferrets are not considered a threat to waterfowl by Ducks Unlimited or other major duck organizations, claims it is afraid that ducks might be eaten by ferrets before they get a chance shoot them, never mind that their hunting dogs are more of a threat to the environment than your ferret), the Sierra Club and Audubon Society (who complain about feral cats, but oppose a bill that would give Californians a legal option to a pet that does not go feral, a ferret, and who oppose a very responsible animal bill that has a spay/neuter requirement which just might open the door to spay/neuter requirements on other domestic animals that need it far more than the ferret, i.e. cats).

If we don't work to turn the tide, we're going to have a very rough time in the Senate!! Please take off the gloves and let the media know about this hypocrisy. Don't attack Assembly members or State Senators, we need their votes.

Write to the editor of your local paper. Click here for their addresses.


How the Appropriations Committee voted

5/8/97

Assembly Bill 363 passed the Appropriations Committee yesterday (13-1-7). We needed 11 to pass. Here is how the vote went:

Assembly Members who voted AYE:

Assembly Members who voted NO:

Assembly Members who Abstained, were Absent, or who did not vote:

Assembly Members who were removed from the Committee:

Please take the time to write these individuals and thank them for their support, especially if your representative was on the committee. You should also take the time to write those who supported AB 363 in the Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee hearing on 4/15/97. Let them know you are counting on their continued support when AB 363 reaches the Assembly Floor Session. For those who voted NO or Abstained, write them too, but be polite and express your disappointment. Remember, these members are going to vote on this bill when it reaches the Assembly Floor in two weeks.

To all of you who wrote letters and made phone calls, give yourselves another big pat on the back. To those of you who did not, you should know that this is only the second of 7 hurdles (4 committees, 2 floor votes and the Governor) that we have to get over to legalize ferrets in California. If you sat this one out too, we still managed to win, but you should know that our hearings will get more and more difficult from now on, especially in the Senate. You may be the reason we succeed or fail in CA. Please don't sit back and wait to see what happens with our bill AB 363. You may not like the results.

The Domestic Ferret is still ILLEGAL to own as a pet in California. Please do not spread rumors to the contrary.

The next step is the Assembly Floor Session. The session when AB 363 will be voted on by all Assembly Members will occur in two weeks. Please find out who your representative is and write to them. Remind them AB 363 is about to be brought in front of them and you are counting on their support.


AB 363 Passed Appropriations Committee! Now onto the Assembly Floor

5/7/97

I just got the news from Sacramento that by an 11-1 vote (we needed 11 so for now have just squeeked out, but we might get more votes in favor) we have passed the Appropriations Committee and are now headed to the Assembly floor!

THE FERRET BILL LIVES!*

*Please help us get the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society to change their position on this bill [PLEASE SEE LEGISLATIVE ALERT!]. The Senate will be tough enough without their opposition. Please write to both the State and National offices of each.

Here are the people to write to:

Audubon Society/California
State Director
Audubon, California
555 Audubon Place
Sacramento, CA 95814

Audubon Society/National
John Flicker, President
National Audubon Society
700 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

Sierra Club/California
William J. Craven
1414 K Street, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814

Sierra Club/National
Adam Werbach, President
Sierra Club
85 2nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

Great job on the letter-writing. Please get ready for a major push and fight in the Senate.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Sierra Club & Audubon National Letter Writing Campaign

5/03/97

I called the Sierra Club and was told that this issue is on their agenda towards the end of May. I urge you to write as soon as possible. They are completely misled by DFG and they need to know how it affects YOU! A Legislative Alert will be sent to all the clubs with newsletters, and to anyone ordering through The Ferret Calendar. Please copy this and pass it on, and write those letters now!

Thanks so much to those that have already taken the time to write these two groups. I've received several e-mail and hard copies of individual letters to these organizations as well as a very well written letter from the League of Independent Ferret Enthusiasts. This good work on everyone's part is terrific.

Thanks for your support,

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Sierra Club/Audubon Opposition Please write to National Offices!

4/27/97

Some of you asked for the content of the letters of opposition from the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club. Here are the pertinent excerpts from those letters.

From the Sierra Club:

"Ferret fanciers have phone banks, write legislative alerts, and organize their campaigns just like other interests groups. For that they are to be commended. They also have dozens upon dozens of Internet sites, where their message is spread far and wide. (On the Internet, one can even wager on animated ferret races, if one is so inclined.)

However, the judgment of the California Legislative Committee, the group of volunteers that guides the lobbying activities of this organization, is that the Sierra Club California should oppose this bill. California simply does not need to take the risk that a feral population of a non-native species could become established in this state or that this species will predate upon other species in the state."

Sincerely yours,
William J. Craven
1414 K Street, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814

(I advise people to write to the President of the Sierra Club, and if they want to copy Mr. Craven, in Sacramento, fine. That way should Mr. Craven feel he can act independently and file these letters in the latrine, at least the president of the national organization will know what is up. Also, keep in mind, that usually change is only effectuated from above!)

Please join a national campaign to correct the Sierra Club by having your members write to:

Adam Werbach, President
Sierra Club
85 2nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

From the Audubon Society:

"Our opposition stems from the threat posed to native California bird species should domestic ferrets escape and become established in the wild. If we could be certain that ferrets would not escape and become established in the wild, we would have no position on this issue. Audubon is not in the business of speaking out [on] the personal decision of pet owners in California.

However, after considerable reflection on the issue, we are convinced that ferrets would escape, and possibly become established, posing yet another threat to birds, especially ground nesting birds in our state. As you may know, wild ferret populations stemming from released animals exist in several locations around the world with very serious negative effects on native wildlife...."

Daniel Taylor
State Director
Audubon, California
555 Audubon Place
Sacramento, CA 95825

Again, please direct your members to write to the head office and cc the Sate office if they wish. It is far too easy, and is even likely, for the State director to ignore your letters. After all, they are already in DFG's camp by the sheer fact that their opposition stems from the lies promulgated by this State Agency. They have had no independent, unsolicited complaints about ferrets!

Please write to:

John Flicker, President
National Audubon Society
700 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

Tell these organizations that since the ferret is domesticated, it does not merit being placed on a prohibited wildlife list. In addition, it is one of the safest pets to the environment and its prohibition makes no sense. Keeping people from choosing a safer pet to the environment than the cat, for example, ought not to be the goal of these organizations. Tell them that their opposition means that the people of California will continue to be fined, and even jailed for ferret ownership! If you live out of state, you are barred from moving or visiting with your domesticated ferret even though cat and dog owners (pets that have far more of an effect on the environment) enjoy this privilege, and, as an owner of a domesticated ferret (private property) you too should have this right.

DFG has spent considerable time and expense digging up opposition and lying to them about the ferret. Help us set the record straight. Let these organizations know that their opposition may have consequences for them. If they are so willing to hurt good people for simply exercising a right they already have, then they might get hurt (financially) in return. TELL THEM THAT THEIR OPPOSITION IS BASED ON MISINFORMATION FROM DFG AND HURTS GOOD PEOPLE FOR CHOOSING ONE OF THE SAFEST PETS TO THE ENVIRONMENT THEY POSSIBLY CAN. WHAT RIGHT DO THEY HAVE TO TELL ANYONE WHICH DOMESTICATED PET TO OWN? WHAT RIGHT TO THEY HAVE TO HELP FINE FERRET OWNERS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS, EVEN SENDING SOME TO JAIL? THEIR OPPOSITION IS OUTRAGEOUS AND OFFENSIVE!

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


How to Affect the Sierra Club and Audobon Society-- Please Help Everyone

4/25/97

Scott G. did a great job at getting at the heart of our problem here in CA.

The reason the Sierra Club, Audobon Society, Farm Bureau, CA Waterfowl are opposed to ferret legalization is because DFG asked them to, lied to them about the true nature of the ferret, etc. It has nothing to do with facts.

I believe, as Scott does, that the only way to change their opinion is to write to them and tell them that they are wrong. That they should have no business telling people which domesticated pet to chose, and that they are actually preventing people from legally choosing a pet that is safer to the environment than a cat or dog.

So many people out of state have asked what can they do to help. Well, this is one thing you can do, and it can make a difference. I ask, on behalf of ferret folks in CA, for all clubs and shelters to make this information available to their members and to encourage them to begin a letter campaign not unlike the letter campaign to HSUS. That, and a change in leadership, plus a very effective spokesman, effected change there, it can happen here if you help.

Please write to both organizations below. Tell them that unless they are willing to change their position, you will request a refund of your dues, donations etc. You want your membership revoked and will not donate to them in the future since your donations are clearly wasted.

Californians must write as well AFTER you've written your Assemblyman and Senator about AB 363.

Here are the people to write to:

John Flicker, President
National Audobon Society
700 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

Adam Werbach, President
Sierra Club
85 2nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94105

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


New Letters of Support for AB 363/FML Help

4/23/97

There's at least some good news for AB 363. Some of you who have been following this issue may have noticed that there was not a single opposing voice from any animal or humane group-- the first time ever this bill has not been opposed by someone in an animal rights organization!

We have just received a fantastic letter of support from the California Animal Control Director's Association which states, in part, "We do not feel that the objections raised by the opposition to the legalizaion of ferrets are valed nor see the benefits of keeping this animal "underground". The reality is that ferrets have been and will continue to be cared for and owned by citizens of California...." I'd asked one of their directors for a letter in time for the WPW hearing but the board had not voted in time. Finally, years of attending animal rights meetings in Sacramento have finally paid off with a very rational response from this organization just in time for our Appropriations Committee hearing.

We have also just received a letter of support from the Peninsula Humane Society who had opposed legalization several years ago. I take a lot of personal satisfaction from this since I have, over the years, presented our issue to their board, and to their staff at two or three meetings, and had asked the director personally to take another look at the situation. I also rescue ferrets at this facility and have come to understand their concern for the general welfare of ferrets and all other animals. To other ferret folks in California who have good relations with local humane agencies, why not approach your humane agency with a plea for their support? Mandatory spay/neuter is a good thing for ferrets and is sadly a necessity for other pets that are faced with euthanasia as young ages due to over-population. Let me know if you are willing to contact your local humane agencies for their support and I will help you if I can.

Thanks to eveyone on the FML who has taken the time to respond to the rabies questionnaire. This will be a very interesting hearing. BTW, Jan's office asks that only the people invited to testify come to this hearing since seats will be availble on a limited basis.

Now, one more question for the FML readers. Last year, when I was asked by Ferrets, USA to write an article about the legalization efforts in CA, I really wanted to broaden it to include other states, cities and counties. At that time, recent legalizations included Massachusetts, the county of Davis, Utah, the city of Plano Texas and the city of Grand Island, Nebraska. Recently the city of San Antonio Texas (boy do the Texans know how to do things, or what?) legalized ferrets. ARE THERE ANY MORE CITIES, COUNTIES OR LOCALES THAT HAVE LEGALIZED FERRETS IN THE LAST YEAR THAT YOU KNOW ABOUT??? Please let me know ASAP since this will be a part of my testimony on May 7th.

Thanks in advance for all of your help and support.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


I Need Your Help

4/19/97

I need to get the following information from different states as soon as possible:

1. Does your state require rabies vaccination of ferrets?

2. Does your state quarantine ferrets that bite, regardless of vaccination history?

3. Does your state quarantine ferrets that bite depending upon possible exposure to wildlife, vaccination status, etc?

4. Does your state automatically kill and test ferrets regardless of their vaccination status?

If you do not know the answer, please do not guess. Call your veterinarian or state health department please and let me know the answer. We've been known for our accuracy and would have written but time is of the essence so I need your help-- just no guesses please.

You can e-mail me with the information. Thanks for your help. Our next committee hearing is May 7th and we need your good vibes.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


AB 363 Passed the 1st Committee!

4/15/97

Assembly Bill 363 passed the Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee today (9-1-5). We needed 8 to pass. Here is how the vote went:
Assembly Members who voted AYE:

Assembly Members who voted NO:

Assembly Members who Abstained, were Absent, or who did not vote:

Assembly Members who were removed from the Committee:

Please take the time to write these individuals and thank them for their support. For those who voted NO or Abstained, write them too, but be polite and express your disappointment. Some of these members are on the next committee we need to pass.

To all of you who wrote letters and made phone calls, give yourselves a big pat on the back. To those of you who did not, you should know that this is only one of 7 hurdles (4 committees, 2 floor votes and the Governor) that we have to get over to legalize ferrets in California. If you sat this one out, we still managed to win, but you should know that our hearings will get more and more difficult from now on. You may be the reason we succeed or fail in CA. Please don't sit back and wait to see what happens with our bill AB 363. You may not like the results.

The Domestic Ferret is still ILLEGAL to own as a pet in California. Please do not spread rumors to the contrary.

The next step is the Assembly's Appropriations Committee. The hearing date is set for May 7, 1997. Please write to the committee chair, Carole Migden.

If your representative is on this committee, write to them too. This committee's primary jurisdiction is fiscal bills, including bonds and alternative public financing. In other words, their focus is on how passage of this bill would effect the state financially.

According to the Assembly Committee Analyses: "Enforcing and validating that all ferrets are vaccinated and spayed or neutered is an enormous undertaking that will cost the DHS vast funds." Attack this point because DFG seems to have "vast funds" to enforce the existing ban.

So when you write, highlight how much the state could make by passing this bill (i.e., sales tax on ferret products) and how much they loose by keeping them illegal (i.e., DFG enforcement costs).

Be resourceful with your ideas and, as always, be polite when writing.


Our Request for An Editorial Did Pay Off

4/14/97

I don't think many of you have seen this so I hought you might enjoy reading CFL's request for editorial support that was sent to all major and minor newspapers:

Re: Request for Editorial

Dear Editor,

Imagine living in a state where cats or dogs are illegal. How would you feel about having your family pet taken from you, sent out of state to an unknown destination, or cruelly euthanized? You are then ordered by the state to pay a fine of several thousand dollars for violating the law. Or, you may even face jail time for sharing your home and heart with your domesticated companion animal. This ridiculous scenario is not hypothetical for ferret owners in California. It's a reality.

The United States Department of Agriculture, Smithsonian Institute, Humane Society of the United States, U.S. Public Health Service, and over 100 zoos and Zoological Societies all list the ferret as a domesticated pet, yet a sixty-five year old California statute erroneously placed this animal in a list of prohibited wildlife. As a result, several hundred thousand ferret owners live underground and in fear of losing a precious member of their household, of being forced to pay large fines, or of being jailed. Your readers may not know what a ferret is, but they all know the warmth and affection of the family cat or dog. And they certainly know what a search warrant is. They will consider the raids on the homes of ferret owners to be completely outside the boundaries of good, responsible government.

California is the only state on the continent to prohibit domesticated ferrets as pets. Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith has introduced AB 363 in the California State Assembly to correct this error and to give relief to the many Californians who are unjustly criminalized because of it. Passage of AB 363 will not only save taxpayer dollars wasted in chasing and prosecuting ferret owners, it will also preserve something just as precious: the peace of mind of good people and the sanctity of their homes.

Californians for Ferret Legalization, sponsors of AB 363, represents the several hundred thousand good people hurt by this bad law. We urge you to write an editorial in support of giving Californians back the right to decide which domesticated pet best suits their needs, a right taken from them over sixty years ago by accident.

We will call you next week to discuss any questions you might have, and will be happy to make available any background information on this issue of interest to you. We also can provide you with the names of several people who have had their lives literally turned upside down because they chose a domesticated ferret as a pet. The sad stories of some of these people are in the enclosed op-ed piece by Assemblyman Goldsmith.

Thank you for your editorial consideration.

Sincerely,

Floyd and Jeanne Carley


Keep Fingers Crossed for Tomorrow

4/14/97

I just got back mid-morning from the America's Family Pet Expo in LA (Pomona) where we and FA were swamped with people interesed in getting involved. The number of people owning ferrets, or who had a family member or friend who owned ferrets in CA, was astounding!

We had only one really entertaining person come by the CFL booth to say that he knew ferrets would go feral "because he had a ferret once." "Well," I told him, you then know something that 50 other State Departments of Fish and Game don't know. You also know something that the Office of Technology Assesment doesn't know!" (Thanks to Debbie Andelin, I had a copy of the report to gently thrust his way, with the crowd now growing. "Yeah, well I took my ferret to the park and it got a rabbit and a bird," this expert ferret owner claimed. "You're kidding!" I said, "was it a pet rabbit?" "No," he told me "it was a wild Jackrabbit!" "Wow, was your ferret off leash?" I asked. "Nope, leashed." (I had visions of this really fast, really strong ferret dragging what looked like a slightly overweight DFG warden after him in persuit of this rabbit. Can't you just see it, he's bumping along behind his ferret....) "I don't believe you." I told him. After I gave a little talk about the facts to the gathering crowd, he went away.

What a story! And what kind of bird did this really interesting ferret (that he never had) catch? A woodpecker! Not a ground dweller, but a tree dweller. Amazing. THIS FERRET WAS APPARENTLY A TREE-CLIMBING, JACK-RABBIT SNATCHING MARVEL! I loved it when someone in the audience said AMEN after the work-over in ferret facts this guy got.

I want to thank Debbie, Jessica, Melissa, Don and Faith for helping out at the CFL booth. We were literally swamped. I also want to thank Claudia and Melinda, Les, Sharon, Harold and anyone else who sent folks over to get their WANTED posters. Many of these people still had not written because they had not taken the time to find out their representatives-- we did that for them. We also sent many, many folks over to the FA booth for the newsletter and for meetings. DFG, it's an incoming tide.

---------------------------------------------------------

On a last note, keep a good thought for us tomorrow, and to those of you who wrote and called, you've done your part, good for you. We can only hope that the legislators now do what's right for California.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Alert! The opposition is working hard against AB 363

4/10/97

The Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee hearing will be in in room #437 of the State Capitol on Tuesday April 15th at 9:00 A.M. ALERT-- members of this committee are being lobbied heavily by CA Waterfowl and the CA Farm Bureau-- don't let politics kill this bill, if you haven't written, or phoned in your support, you must do it now!

If you have been asked by Jan's office to testify, please be there at 8:30 A.M. because these things start on time. Jim Englehardt will be there to take photos, Dad and I will be there for testimony and so will a list of previous witnesses including Dr. Hoffman from the AFA, Val Petrusich of Melani Poultry, and a suprise expert in the ferret field all the way from Europe!!

Please come if you can, this is an extremely important time for all of us.

CALIFORNIANS FOR FERRET LEGALIZATION WILL BE AT THE AMERICA'S FAMILY PET EXPO THIS WEEKEND. If anyone needs to get in touch with me they can leave a message at the Embassy Suites in Covina from Thurs. through Sunday (818) 915-3441.

DON'T SIT THIS OUT OR FERRETS WILL STAY PROHIBITED IN CA AND ALL OUR HARD WORK WILL COME TO NOTHING.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


APRIL 15TH HEARING DATE SET/COME TO THE HEARING!

3/26/97

April 15th is the date of our hearing in the Water, Parks and Wildlife. We are in the process of assembling a list of expert witnesses that will include one surprise expert from overseas!!!!

Jan has also requested that 2 families with ferrets and kids come to Sacramento to testify. Kids that love ferrets, particularly one that have lost their ferrets to DFG, make great witnesses. Please e-mail me if you can represent a family that has ferrets, or has had them taken away by DFG.

I have a call into Jan's office asking if names and addresses have to be given when testifying. It may be that a family can testify anonymously, I don't know. In any case, please come forward if you can help.

Also, we have been advised that our bill will have to go through the Appropriations Committee after the WPW Committee. On a subsequent post, I will advise everyone of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of that Committee and encourage everyone to write again.

Please be sure to write Mike Machado, Chairman of the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee asking him to support this bill. His address is:

Mike Machado, Chairman
Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee
State Captiol
Room 5175
Sacramento, CA 95814

YOUR ATTENDANCE AT THE HEARING WILL HELP OUR BILL

Please take the day off and come to our hearing. It will be in the State Capitol and has been heard in the morning in the past, though we don't yet know what time. A large contingent of ferret folks showing support for this issue will help communicate the importance of this vote. Please come! I'll keep you posted about the details.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


CFL Mails To Almost 1,000 Contacts!/ Hearing Date Set for 4/15!

3/20/97

In the last few weeks, CFL has been extremely busy with mailings to almost 400 pet stores and veterinarians offices throughought the state as well as every contact that we and Ferrets Anonymous have in the dozen districts of the members of the Water, Parks and Wildlife, whose position on AB 363 is unknown to us. It is imperative that these people know that their representatives are the key to getting AB 363 on to the Assembly floor.

Anyone who is a contact or member of CDFA, or who knows a member or contact of CDFA should realize that they may be in the dark on legalization information. Please contact us by phone or e-mail to be included in this state-wide effort. If you have a friend or acquaintance who is only receiving information from CDFA, you must tell them to contact Californians for Ferret Legalization so they can be kept up to date and can have a chance to positively effect our chances for passage this year.

A whopping big thank you is due to the following volunteers for this mailing and other recent mailings to the Farm Bureaus of California. The following ferret enthusiasts deserve the Moosephat Merit Award:

Amy U., Chuck L., Debbie A., Doreen R., Margaret W., Marion H., and Shelly B. Please forgive me if I've forgotten anyone. All the support and enthusiasm for this effort that most folks have shown is terrific. If any of you are coming to the Ferret Roundup, please come by the booth to say hello.

Our hearing date is set for 4/15. Jan's office is orchestrating the testimony so we'll keep you posted of the developments.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Meeting in Governor's Office

3/16/97

Ferret folks were represented in the Governor's office on Friday as my father and I took 40 minutes to dispel the many myths that DFG has foisted on everyone. One of the most incriminating pieces of evidence of DFG's atrocious behavior was a letter from 1986 from the director of DFG to the Commission stating that ferrets were responsible for decimating a populations of endangered terns in Massachusetts. A subsequent letter from the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife literally said, "That's news to us!" Tom French from MA Fish and Game said that not only were ferrets NOT a problem in MA as far as depredating terns, but that they had never heard of such a thing anywere.

We also met briefly with the Consultant to the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee to ensure that our analysis would be fair and accurate. Now that the previous consultant has departed, I believe that will be the case. But, I do want to pass on to folks that she said she'd only received about 10 letters so far and most were from Southern CA!!!! Hey Californians, and especially Northern Californians, let's get busy letting Mr. Machado, Chairman of the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee know how we feel.

ASSIGNMENT OF THE WEEK!! WRITE YOUR LETTER TO MR. MACHADO AND GET 4 OTHERS TO DO THE SAME!!

His address is:

Hon. Mike Machado, Chairman
Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee
State Capitol, Room 5175
Sacramento, CA 95814
e-mail a17@assembly.ca.gov

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Jan Goldsmith removed from Water Parks and Wildlife Committee

3/6/97

I just received word from Jan Goldsmith's office that he has been removed from the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee. As you may or may not know, each legislator serves on these committees at the pleasure of the Speaker. In the same conversation I was also told by Jan's office that the Speaker, Cruz Bustamante, promised to sign on as a co-author and has promised to work for the bill. While Jan's departure from the Committee is not welcome, the Speaker's support certainly is and I think on balance, this development is very good news.

The other development is that our bill will be heard in mid-late April instead of late March. This will give us more time to get our flyers up and around the state. I have new flyers that are easier to photocopy and have the bill number on them, so anyone wanting the new flyers, please e-mail me with your address. If you are going to the Ferret Roundup in Claremont (LA) on March 22nd, please pick them up there so we can save the postage.

Speaking of postage, if anyone can donate some first class (32 cent) stamps those would really help with our next mailing to pet stores and veterinarians. Or, you can send a cash donation to Californians for Ferret Legalization at the address below.

I've had a really busy couple of weeks with launching a new Ferrets Anonymous chapter meeting in San Francisco, flying to Boston to press check new T-shirts from The Ferret Calendar, and then returning to speak at the Golden State Ferret Society meeting in Fremont.

One of the new FA folks from Marin wants to start a chapter there, so anyone interested should let me know so I can add you to our growing list of Marin County ferret enthusiasts.

In the meantime, everyone should be writing to the Chairman of the Water Parks and Wildlife Committee, Chairman Mike Machado. His address is:

Chairman Mike Machado
Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee
State Capitol
Room 5175
Sacramento, CA 95814

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


VALENTINES, LITIGATION, POSTERS & LEGISLATION

2/14/97

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO ALL CALIFORNIANS AND TO PAT WRIGHT OF FERRETS ANONYMOUS..... (Pat already knows this) Californians for Ferret Legalization will assume the costs of defending Pat against the charges of illegal possession of a wild animal! So, now there are three fronts that DFG will have to address. Pat's lawsuit covers the judicial arena because a judge will hear it and can rule that the ferret is domesticated and set the whole department of Fish and Game on it's ear (hopefully). The lawsuit by Marshall Farms (though it is also in front of a judge) is more in the administrative arena because it is designed to compel the Fish and Game Commission (an administrative branch) to do their job and have a hearing on whether the ferret is wild or domesticated. The statute reads that the following WILD animals are prohibited.... AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION.

In addition, we have our ferret legalization bill, sponsored by Californians for Ferret Legalization (that's all of you by the way, FA, Golden State Ferret Society, CDFA and LOS and the hundreds of thousands of people not affiliated with any group) and authored by Jan Goldsmith. Wow!! DFG has often complained about lack of funds, lack of time, now what are they going to do?

The attorneys in Los Angeles are in the process of doing a great job of discovery regarding Commission and Department actions on the ferret issue in the past. They've literally asked for every document, every letter, every file, everything the department has on ferrets! They'll get to see it all, and it should be very interesting. Not only does this take time on behalf of DFG, but I was told by the Attorneys, that DFG pays for it, not the AG's office. So, it costs them time and money. Hopefully they will soon realize that it is time to let go of an issue that does not merit this kind of expenditure. When ferrets are legalized, they'll save hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe even millions!

In the meantime, THE WANTED POSTERS ARE IN! Californians, this is your opportunity to spread the word. These posters are 8.5"x11" and ask for the public's participation. All you have to do is to fill in the name, address, and telephone number of your local representative, photocopy the form, and distribute it to your local pet stores, veterinary offices, businesses, schools, etc.

Please send me your name and address if you're willing to get it into the public arena. If you can help with some of our costs in photo-copying, mailing, or the litigation, please send a contribution. We have to go back on press with the posters soon because we're almost out.

Thanks for all your support. Let's give 110% to get this done this year.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization


CA UPDATE FROM JAN GOLDSMITH

Jan's office called this morning with a request that everyone contact both their State Assembly and Senate representatives now and ask them to co-author the ferret legalization bill. He wants to introduce it with as many co-authors from both houses as possible. Please call me if you need help figuring out your representatives [Ed. note: Try the handy search engine above]. Or, you can call your county registrar of voters by dialing 411 and asking for the county registrar of voters. By giving them your name and address where you are registered, they will advise you of the names of your representatives. If the legislators in Sacramento get enough calls, they will not just support, but co-author. Let's start the ball rolling now on this effort.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
ferretnews@aol.com
415 851-3750


IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM OUR AUTHOR

This message from Jan says it all. For those of you not knowing what to do, he spells it out pretty plainly, and it's clear what our job is-- to spread the truth about the ferret, meet now with our Assemblymembers, and call local radio, TV and newspapers. If anyone doesn't have Jan's editorial, please e-mail me and I'll send it to you [Ed. note: It's also right here]. Please, schedule those meetings with your Assemblymembers, especially if they are new. Please let me know if you are scheduling a meeting with your Assemblymember so I can send others with you, or make sure you have what you need in terms of ferret information. I don't want to be sending copies of this information to more than one person in a district, so let's coordinate on this. Please call me if you're willing to meet with your Assemblymember. We have just been given the green light so please, let's get going on all of the fronts Jan mentioned.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
ferretnews@aol.com
---------------------
Forwarded message: From: goldsmji@assembly.ca.gov ( Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith)
Reply-to: goldsmji@assembly.ca.gov
To: ferretnews@aol.com
Date: 97-02-04 21:34:16 EST
Jeanne:

I had an opportunity to visit your web site and found it to be excellent! [Ed. note: Thank you Assemblyman Goldsmith, yours is pretty good too!] It is now time for supporters to schedule meetings with their Assembly representatives. Over 1/2 of the Assembly consists of new members, most of whom are not familiar with ferrets. They need to be educated and their questions need to be addressed. Otherwise, they will be easy prey for the Department of Fish and Game.

We have a chance of winning this year if we keep communicating. People need to get on talk shows, distribute to newspapers the commentary I wrote (which you have reproduced in this web site) and write letters to the editor.

Three years ago, a group of constituents asked me to carry legislation to legalize ferrets. At the time, I did not know what a ferret is. I responded that, if they could convince me that they are right, I will go to bat for them. They inundated me with information and I concluded they were right. Three years later, I am still making good on that commitment. And, I don't mind. The fact is, you are right.

You will win this issue by communicating. Everyone who visits this web site should write a letter to the editor, send out the commentary and, perhaps, call a talk radio show. In addition, they need to write their Assembly representative, call their representative and, if possible, meet with their representative. Make sure their representative has read the Pacific Research Institute report that was distributed. We can get them another copy if they need one.

We will soon have a bill number and anticipate the first hearing on the bill will occur sometime in late March or early April. We will, of course, keep you apprised.

Best wishes.

Jan Goldsmith
http://ais3.assembly.ca.gov/repwww/member/a75/default.htm


Ferret Show to Air on Local Station in Bay Area

2/1/97

For those of you in the bay area of San Francisco, CA, check your local cable listings for KTEH because on Feb. 5th at 8:00 P.M. and on Feb. 8th at 3:30 P.M. Petpourri will again be airing their half hour show which, if I remember, was mostly about the ferret. I believe KTEH is channel 10 in some areas but has a different channel in other areas. Check your TV guide for details.

Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
ferretnews@aol.com


CA UPDATE News Flash!

2/1/97

I just received word from Jan Goldsmith's office that he's been appointed to the Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, the very committee our bill will need to pass through on its way to the Assembly floor! And, the Chair of that Committee, Mike Machado, also supports legalization as a co-author.

There's other good news on the legislative front. In terms of the Assembly, we have12 co-authors so far, and 5 joint author's. Co-authorship is a wonderful sign of support and joint-authorship is even stronger! Senator Quentin Kopp is a joint-author in the Senate. Joint authorship is as if the bill belongs to that member as well.

The Senate natural resources committee (which killed our legalization and regulatory bill twice in the last session) also looks better with its new composition but is still regarded by all those involved to be our toughest hurdle. Californians, a strong vote of approval for our bill in the Assembly will help send a message to the Senate, but all of you need to find out who your State Senators are now, so that you will be prepared to write them when the time comes. Our long fight will be won or lost in that legislative body.

All of us need to consider the fight this year to be the most important we've seen. Many things are coming together to make this effort our best shot yet but each of YOU are the keys to its success. Don't be passive about your involvement (I'm not talking about being agressive, that's definitely out!), but you must write those letters when the time comes. Ask friends and family members to write as well. Get co-workers involved. Help us put flyers and in pet stores and veterinarians offices. If you care about legalizing ferrets, our best shot is this session! Don't sit this one out because the elements that are in place for possible success won't be there next time. Both Jan and Senator Kopp are leaving the legislature at the end of this session.

On another matter, I've been out of town for a couple of weeks, and I guess my comments to someone about my disappointment in financial contributions to this effort made it into the FML. I'm afraid I've been so busy trying to catch up that I've yet to peruse a couple of weeks of news, but I want to say a couple of things about Californians for Ferret Legalizations' effort to raise money. First of all, I want to sincerely thank those who have contributed. Each of you will receive a personal thank you (on a ferret notecard of course). Anyone donating anonymously I'll have to thank in this column.

One of the largest contributions so far, was, in fact anonymous, and consisted of two crisp Ben Franklins from the person who apparently posted on the FML (I can't remember who that was, if you want to call me so I can personally thank you, if not,-- thanks wholeheartedly for your generous support!)

Secondly, while I appreciate the contributions in the sense that it will help pay expenses we incurr to promote this issue in the press and via our lobbyist, one line of the post said something about "supporting Jeanne". Hey guys, I have news for you, this issue isn't about me, it's about an estimated 250,000 of you and well over 500,000 ferrets. It's about folks like Brent Utley doing jail time, or Ilona Maggard paying several thousand dollars for having the kindness to try to reunite a lost ferret with its owner. It's about 11 year old Brian Shepard whose only pet was taken from him at our border, a fine welcome for a little boy who had just left his dying mother in Canada. It's about the four healthy ferrets in Contra Costa euthanized a couple of years ago because the agency felt they "didn't have to work with ferret rescue," and the countless others that suffer here needlessly.

If you want to give, and I hope you will, you're helping yourselves. It's the same with the letters, written or not, you're helping, or hurting, yourselves. I can't write for you and I can't spend myself into bankruptcy. I'm giving 100% of what I can possibly give in terms of time and money. Ask yourself if you're giving 100% too. Or is it more like 10%? Or is it nothing?

Let me tell you about a recent conversation I had with a ferret fan in Southern CA. This man has taken it upon himself to work with the local city council to get a letter of support. So far, the three council member's he's spoken with all support legalization. In addition this ferret fan has also spoken to the local police department and discovered that they have no intention of enforcing the ban. His intentions are to get a letter from that agency as well. And, if that weren't enough, he's offered to donate a domain name to the Golden State Ferret Society who has so generously hosted the Californians for Ferret Legalization Web Page. This man, like many others of you, is doing something positive. Theres just not enough folks involved yet at this level. Each one of you needs to do committ more time and resources if you want to beat DFG.

It comes down very simply to this: if you're OK about being classified as a criminal in this state, if you're OK about possible confiscation of your ferrets, if you're OK about the fact that a spiteful neighbor or rejected ex-husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend can hurt you in ways unimaginable in other states, fine, do nothing. If these things offend and anger you, get involved, help out.

You already know we need financial help. Additional ways to help out are to volunteer to distribute flyers in your area to vets, pet stores and other areas. I've held off printing flyers until our bill has a number (most likely the last couple of weeks in Feb.) Call, or e-mail me with your address, and I'll send you a few when they're printed. They way they work, however, means that you must know the name and address of your local state representatives because the flyer will have an area for that information to be filled in. You will then need to copy those forms and distribute them. The flyers will have the bill number and ask recipients to write letters of support to the Assemblymember and/or Senator below. So, you will need to donate copying expenses and take the time to distribute the information. Please let me know ASAP if you can help. I already have addresses from some of you, but, there are many others areas where we need help.

Sincerely,
Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
415 851-3750
ferretnews@aol.com


MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A LITIGIOUS NEW YEAR!

12/23/96

On Monday December 9, 1996, in Superior Court in San Diego County, a lawsuit was filed against the California State Fish and Game Commission by Marshall Farms, USA, INC. The lawsuit seeks two things: a Writ of Administrative Mandate overturning the November 8th decision by the Commission regarding its contention that the authority to hear the ferret issue is in question, and, it commands the Commission to "fulfill its mandatory statutory duty to determine whether the ferret is an animal that is "normally domesticated" in the State of California."

The complaint points out that, besides the plain reading of the statute in which wild animal is defined as "any animal....which is not normally domesticated in this state as determined by the commission," section 2118(k) of the Fish and Game Code specifically "authorizes the Commission to add or delete animals from the statutorily adopted restricted list." McDermott, Will & Emery partners Mary Ellen Hogan, Chris Amantea, and Lee Blackman point out that the removal of domesticated races of Chinchillas from section 2118 is a clear example of the kind of authority to delist prohibited species that the Commission recently exercised but now claims it does not have.

The complaint also catalogues the long-running attempt by California's citizens to have the Commission fulfill it's obligations regarding the ferret issue and specifically recounts the recent efforts begun by Floyd Carley in August of 1995 and culminating in the successful presentation by Floyd, Jan Goldsmith, author of HR 37, Dick Schumacher, head of the CVMA, and others at the San Diego Commission meeting in November of 1995. At no time from August 1995 through June 1996, was the Commission's authority to delist the ferret ever a question, even within the agency. In fact, recent legal documents from the Attorney General's office reiterate Commission authority to drop ferrets from the prohibited species list.

News of the Commission's backtracking came from minutes of the August 29th Commission hearing sent to me by Jan Goldsmith's office. Deptuty Attorney General Randy Christison advised the Commission that the ferret's removal from 2118 might not survive a challenge from the Office of Administrative Law. At that time, Mr. Christison was unaware that McDermott, Will and Emery were already on board to deal with the CEQA issue, but was obviously acutely aware of the ramifications of a final hearing on the ferret's status as a domestic pet. The Commission would faced Hobson's choice: declare the ferret domesticated and remove it from the prohibited wildlife list, or maintain a fiction, keep ferrets classified as wild, and join the flat earth society. Instead, he advised the Commission "to meet with the Legislature for the purpose of sponsoring legislation to clarify the Commission's statutory mandate." This is a transparent attempt to convince the Commission to abdicate its mandated responsibility.

The lawsuit also calls for declaratory relief in seeking "a judicial determination that the domestic ferret is a domesticated animal.." The plaintiff contends that "the Commission has the statutory authority and is required to make a determination, by regulation, whether domestic ferrets are domesticated or wild animals... (and) that based on the evidence in the record, as a matter of law, the only conclusion that can be reached is that the domestic ferret is domesticated within the State of California, and therefore, not a "wild animal" subject to regulation by the Commission."

As far as the matter of Commission authority, the statutory mandate is clear: the Commission has the authority to remove the ferret from the list of prohibited wildlife. They've exercised that authority in the recent past by delisting the Chinchilla, and hopefully will be compelled to address the ferret issue, and will delist it in the near future. Regarding the question of whether the DOMESTICATED ferret belongs in a list of prohibited WILD animals, I can only ask, how many of you are prepared to state that the earth is flat?

Merry Christmas to all of you and we hope we can celebrate an end to this ridiculous ban in California this legislative session. But to do that, we need your help. Californians, please gear up for a strong push this year.

Contact me if you can volunteer to be a key contact in your area. To others that want to help but don't live here, I'll let you know if there is an opportunity to write the Governor or not. We also need everyone's help financially. To donate to the legalization effort and the fees of our lobbyist, please make your checks payable to Californians for Ferret Legalization and send your contributions to:

Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road
Woodside, CA 94062

Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive over the years. And thanks also to so many of you that have sent Christmas cards my way. For the first time in about 7 or 8 years, I've been too busy to send out my Christmas cards (pretty ironic under the circumstances).

Anyway, thanks again for your support and encouragement.

Sincerely,
Jeanne Carley
Californians for Ferret Legalization
ferretnews@aol.com


WE NEED YOUR HELP! CENTRAL VALLEY CALIFORNIANS-- A CALL TO ARMS!!!!

12/22/96

On Wednesday, December 11th, the Modesto Bee Online reported that the lobbying firm, Wagerman Associates, Inc., representing the interests of Merced County, warned the board of supervisors to oppose any ferret legalization efforts. The platform adopted by the supervisors does indeed oppose such legislation because "it would create potential health hazards and increase animal control workloads.." I wonder where they got such inaccurate information!

I spoke with Jan Goldsmith about this and want to relay his serious concerns to you. It is apparent that the opposition wants to fight this issue in the California's Central Valley where the Farm Bureau is strongest along with California Waterfowl. We need to address this issue immediately with local officials, editorial boards, and the boards of supervisors in this area. You should also contact your local Assemblymembers for their support: Cruz Bustamante, Chuck Poochigian, Mike Machado, are a few of the members in that area. I have already put in a call to the California Veterinary Medical Association to ask them to coordinate with us on this.

If you live anywhere in the Central Valley, from Bakersfield, to Modesto, to Fresno, wherever, WE NEED YOUR HELP. You must get involved and not let the lies told about the domesticated ferret prevail. If this county board of supervisors could see how the ferret compares to other domesticated animals relative to the concerns they've expressed, they'd jump at the chance to see ferrets as a legal option to other domesticated pets.

E-mail me ASAP with your name and phone number if you live in the Central Valley and are willing to help (if you live in the Central Valley and are unwilling to help, think again-- this is not going to happen in a vacuum). I absolutely need to hear from anyone and everyone in that area. Anyone that has contacts in this area, if they care about ferret legalization, should contact those people, let them know how vital this problem is, and give them my telephone number. Visit pet stores near you and enlist their help. Get them to write the newspapers, boards of supervisors, and assemblymembers. There's no reason not to begin now. We need to make a change in Modesto and to prevent such a thing from happening elsewhere. This blanket and ignorant condemnation of the very good piece of legislation that Jan Goldsmith will be introducing next year is an outrage to all Californians and especially to residents of Modesto and the Central Valley. Central Valley residents must fight this kind of misinformation, and they must do it now if we are to succeed.

You all need to know that at the end of this legislative session, both Jan Goldsmith and Quentin Kopp will be out of office due to term limits. Now is the time to pat yourselves on the back if you've worked hard on this issue in the past and get ready to work a lot harder. If you haven't been involved, you must do so now. Please don't let all of the hard work by Jan's office and ferret folks not come to fruition by assuming it's just a matter of time-- take a lesson from Modesto. There are folks out there that prefer to see you criminalized for doing absolutely nothing wrong! You must be prepared to fight them and the misinformation they spread if you want to see ferrets legalized in California.

The following is an op-ed piece that Jan Goldsmith wrote and I want to ask each and every one of you to send it to your local paper's editorial boards this January. Tell them to print it, that it's about time that California join the rest of the world in recognizing its citizens right to own the domesticated pet of their own choosing. No one chosing a ferret as a pet is a criminal!

Jeanne Carley (415)851-3750
Californians For Ferret Legalization

P.S. Please make a note of my new e-mail address, I was going to drop AOL, but the move was just too difficult and I don't want to lose anyone. You will still be able to reach me at the old address for a while.

Stop Chasing Ferret Owners and Start Jailing Car Thieves

By: Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith (R-San Diego)

At 9:20 a.m. on Sunday, November 26, 1995, Ilona Maggard responded to a knock at the front door of her Fresno home. Opening the door, she faced five law enforcement officers armed with a search warrant. Trembling, she responded to their questions and explained that she was the only person home, her husband and children were out. The officers ordered her out of her home while they conducted a search.

The search team went through everything from kitchen cabinets to the childrens' rooms, closets, sealed boxes, dresser drawers and photo albums. Although the search lasted two hours, the officers found contraband within five minutes. Ilona Maggard was read her rights, arrested and later prosecuted for possession of a ferret.

Only a few months earlier, the same Fresno criminal justice system that expended resources to arrest and prosecute Ilona Maggard for possession of a ferret complained to the Fresno Bee that it did not have the resources to detain a 13 year old boy who had stolen a car. "There is just not enough space in detention facilities," explained the presiding judge.

There was plenty of space for a young student named Brent Utley, however. He brought his pet ferret from Arizona to his mother's house in California where he was to attend summer school. His ferret was confiscated and he was jailed. "I loved my pet", the young man later wrote. "If you want to know how I feel, let someone shoot your family's dog, cat or horse. Then you'll know."

Eleven year-old Ryan knows, having had his pet ferret confiscated. His mother asks: "Aren't there more important and sensible laws to be made than the one that robs both children and adults of a loving relationship with a harmless pet such as a ferret? Where is your heart, California?"

Ferrets are small furry animals that have been domesticated for over 2,000 years. They are mentioned as pets in Aristotle's writings and Greek plays. Today, they are legal pets in every state in the continental U.S. except California. Millions of ferrets are kept in homes as pets throughout the world. Notwithstanding the ban, there are several hundred thousand kept illegally as pets in California.

California's ban dates back to the 1930's when it was misclassified as a wild animal probably due to confusion with its close relative, the European Polecat. The state's Departmentof Fish and Game, however, refuses to consider legalization. Key Department administrators have made a career of battling ferrets, going so far as to circulate a report nationwide in 1988 claiming they are wild animals and calling on other states to ban them.

The 1988 report was discredited as nonsense and its only effect was to prompt other states where they were banned to legalize ferrets! After analyzing the report, the Pacific Research Institute concluded that it was "full of exaggeration, hyperbole, and inaccuracies.... There is nothing more repugnant in a democracy than public officials who use public money to mislead the public."

Today, many of those key administrators remain at the Department of Fish and Game supervising enforcement. They spend considerable time on a crusade to fight legalization, claiming ferrets are ferocious animals that attack children, livestock and endangered species. These, and other misrepresentations, have long been discredited by leading authorities and experiences in other states which report no serious problem.

The U.S. Public Health Service describes the ferret as "docile and cat-like" and the Journal of American Veterinary Medicine Association reports far less bite incidents per capita than dogs. Ferrets have lost their hunting instincts and quickly die in the wild. The U.S. Department of Agriculture considers it a domestic pet- not a wild animal- as do hundreds of authoritative sources including the Smithsonian Institute, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Museum of Natural History and every other state on the continent and every other country in the world.

Using discredited and false claims, a few powerful Department administrators protecttheir turf without regard for the costs to taxpayers and individuals. The Pacific Research Institutes writes, "like Bill Murray who will stop at nothing short of blowing up the golf course with dynamite to kill groundhogs in the classic comedy movie Caddyshack, the Department of Fish and Game seems to be driven by an age-old grudge against the ferret."

However, support for legalization is mounting.The California Veterinarian Association has joined the legalization effort. A recent Contra Costa Times editorial concluded that "there is no legitimate reason to ban ferret ownership." The 400-member San Mateo County Deputy Sheriff's Association labeled the ban "ridiculous" and a waste of crime-fighting resources. During last session, the California Assembly voted 60-7 to adopt HR 37, a resolution I authored calling on the Fish and Game Commission to legalize ferrets by reclassifying them as domesticated animals.

When Massachusetts Governor William Weld legalized ferrets in 1995, he denounced the "big government" attitude that caused owners to live "in fear that an officer of the law would bang on the door late at night, grab the family ferret and arrest them." Governor Weld concluded that it was time to stop wasting taxpayer money and start respecting personal freedom. Governor Pete Wilson and Attorney General Dan Lungren can do the same for California by reining in the bureaucracy they oversee and supporting legalization. Perhaps if California stops wasting millions of dollars chasing ferret owners, we can start jailing car thieves.

Jan Goldsmith
Assemblymember, Poway


Wall Street Journal Does CA Ferret Piece for 12/4/96

Look for a piece on the ferret issue here in California in the Wall Street Journal (California Section) this Wednesday December 4th. This is thanks to the hard work of Bud Jackson, of Jackson Communications. One of the staffers at the Journal kept the many faxes Bud sent from my office (his headquarters for the ferret media effort) to the LA Times where the writer was employed at the time.

The article will highlight some of the folks affected by the ban who face job moves (the Journal is a business magazine after all) to California and have to decide to accept or decline based on the composition of their household. (Thank you to everyone who has sent letters-- I get one for every 10-15 people that call me with this dilemma.)

The L.A. law firm and I have played phone tag today so I should know more about what's going on with the Commission in the next few days, but I wanted those who were interested to have the opportunity to get the Journal if they wish. This is all the notice I had, having spoken with the reporter today and not receiving confirmation that the article was a go until well after 6:00P.M.

Hope it's a good one. Again, thanks Bud!

Jeanne Carley
Coordinator
Californians For Ferret Legalization


What The Commission Really Did

Here's what happened last Friday at the Fish and Game Commission hearing.

Randy Christison's opinion was essentially that the specific language of 2118 which includes ferrets in the list of prohibited species, and specifically excludes domesticated dogs and cats, makes the legislative intent clear-- the Legislature intended for Fish and Game to prohibit domesticated ferrets! Of course, one has to skip right over the rubric, or heading of that statute, and virtually every other statute of Fish and Game because they contain the specific word WILDLIFE!

The Commission did not rule that they don't have the authority to delist the ferret, neither did they rule that they do have that authority. Instead, they said, we're confused, let's go back to the Legislature via a committee (consisting of ex-Commission president Frank Boren, a staff member of the Department of Fish and Game, and Mr. Christison, as legal counsel only). Commissioner Frank Boren will be the only one on this committee with an open mind-- of course I don't know who will represent the Department of Fish and Game yet, but no one can really expect that individual to be unbiased, and we've seen how Mr. Christison has behaved,so, a very stacked deck will approach the Legislature's oversight committee, whatever oversight committee that might be, to try to understand what the Legislative intent behind listing the ferret in this wildlife statute really was. Christison did say that the opinion by Mary Ellen Hogan and Chris Amantea of McDermott, Wills and Emery was the best he's ever seen on this issue. They are experts in the field of environmental law and their opinion was beautifully written and on point. That opinion was delivered to each Commissioner as well. I also spoke today with Jan Goldsmith and he's surprised and disappointed by the Commission's unwillingness to address this issue head on. Jan is not about to let this issue go away, so let's all be ready to help him when he asks for it.

I will have more information later this week, or early next week, about possible next moves in this ridiculous and embarrassing dance by our government around what should be a no-big-deal issue. Based on the extreme position taken by the Deputy Attorney General, ignoring the plain language of the statute that clearly gives the Commission authority to deal with the ferret issue, one has to ask, what are they so afraid of? Someday, DFG and the Commission will have to do the right thing by the good people of this state and relieve ferret owners of the burden of living like criminals. Putting off the question of the ferret's true nature will not allow the agency or the Commission to avoid having to eat a healthy dose of crow, their portion (and the issue) just promises to get bigger.

BTW Californians for Ferret Legalization sent approximately 200 Press Releases to newspapers across the state condemning the abuse of government by our Department of Fish and Game. In the absence of any hot story or legislation, I was surprised to hear that a reference appeared in Rob Morse's column in the San Francisco Examiner. But unlike Jim, I don't see it as bad press. Believe me, I've seen worse, and well, we do have a few tricks, er, up our "pant legs."

Jeanne Carley
Coordinator
Californians For Ferret Legalization


NOVEMBER COMMISSION HEARING

Last week Jan Goldsmith faxed me a letter he sent to the Fish and Game Commission supporting their authority, better yet, their responsibility, to review the ferret's place in the list of prohibited wildlife. "Under Fish and Game Code section 2116, the Legislature has authorized the commission to determine whether an animal is a "wild animal". That section defines "wild animal" to include "any animal of (designated classes) which is not normally domesticated in this state as determined by the commission." He went on to say that if a determination has not been made that the ferret is wild, then "the Commission has violated its obligation to make such a determination.." Jan also sent a letter to the Attorney General's office asking if, in the absence of such a determination, are ferrets actually legal? Great question, in my opinion, but keep your little guys under wraps for now.

Delivering another opinion on the question of authority are two partners from a very large law firm, McDermott, Will and Emery. This law firm has branches in LA, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York.." The L.A. branch has a large environmental law practice and Chris Amantea is the partner that will be on hand to monitor the delivery of the Deputy Attorney's opinion. He is unsure if he will be allowed to present Mary Ellen Hogan's (the named partner on the opinion delivered to the Commission) beautifully constructed arguments for Commission authority to list and delist animals from 2116.

Mary Ellen sent me her opinion, complete with 10 exhibits, and a letter strongly objecting to the Deputy Attorney General's limitations on public input. Deputy Attorney General for the Commission Randy Christison's position of not allowing public commentary is contrary to well established case law for that requires a public hearing before a state agency may render it's "quasi-legislative" decision and was objected to by McDermott, Wills and Emery as an "arbitrary and unauthorized limitation on the public's right to provide input to an important Commission decision."

Briefly, Mary Ellen Hogan argues that a plain reading of the statue makes the intent clear. Remember the language, "as determined by the Commission?" Chris Amantea ran legislative intent histories on sections three sections of the Fish and Game Statute regulating ferrets and wild animals to ensure he was up to date and found that the 1974 amendments that gave the Commission authority to list and delist animals, were actually sponsored by a legislator at the request of the Commission. Mary Ellen Hogan argues that "the plain language of the authorizing statute (Section 2116 et seq. of the Fish and Game Code) and its legislative history leave no doubt that the Commission has the power to add or delete species from the list of restricted species. Further, removing the domestic ferret from Department of Fish and Game management and administration is both consistent with the statute and is reasonably necessary to effectuate the purpose of the statute." I particularly love this last part because the purpose of the statute, the list of prohibited species, indeed of Fish and Game itself was never intended to regulate, let alonne ban, a domesticated species!

I don't know what will happen on Friday. And, I won't be there to find out because public input may very well not be part of the agenda. But I can tell you this, the issue has the best representation it has ever had. A very large law firm that has a specialty in environmental law brings a big gun to the table. Should the Commission still abdicate its responsibility and appeal will be filed immediately.

Another piece of interesting news is that ferret foe Marjorie Phares was not confirmed to the Fish and Game Commission! At present, there are only three Commissioners, the three that supported going to notice back in November. Commissioner Dutton who voted against this issue was not confirmed by the Senate several months ago and Ms Phares lost her bid at confirmation within the last few months. Does anyone remember that the only two Republicans voting against the ferret legalization bill in 1994, Paul Horcher and Doris Allen, were both recalled by voters? I'm no naive enough to say that ferret fans had anything to do with this but maybe there is such a thing as bad ferret karma.

Will let you know what happened after I speak with Chris Amantea and Mary Ellen Hogan on Monday or Tuesday. Keep your fingers crossed.

Jeanne Carley
Ferret Legalization Coordinator
Californians For Ferret Legalization

P.S. HOPE YOU ALL VOTED


CDFA/CFFL updates

So many folks e-mailed me with their support best wishes in the days after I resigned from the board of directors of the CDFA that I may not have responded to all my mail (I was in Oregon flyfishing for 5 days following the announcement-- very beautiful, very cold and very few fish!). AOL can only hold on to so many pieces of mail before they are no longer accessible via normal channels. Anyway, many of you wanted to know more about the organization, so here it is:

Californians For Ferret Legalization is an umbrella organization dedicated to seeing that ferrets are legalized in the state of California. Whether it's testifying in front of the California State Assembly or Senate policy committees or making presentations to individual members of the Legislature, my father and I feel that we are representing everyone that has an interest in seeing DFG kept to their mandate, wildlife. We've also met face to face with other branches of our government in Sacramento, such as the State Attorney General, as well as members of the press, and animal rights organizations. My father has also retained the services of an attorney to help with litigation efforts.

Many of you have offered financial assistance and we encourage your financial support for our legalization efforts. Should a new legalization bill appear before the California State Legislature, Californians For Ferret Legalization, and all of you, will benefit from the representation of Bob Naylor, who is one of the most respected lobbyists in Sacramento. Bob Naylor served Californians in the Legislature for 12 years. We also are fortunate to have media and PR support from Bud Jackson of Jackson Communications. Bud was effective in gaining terrific media coverage for Massachusetts when HB295 was in front of Governor Weld. In California, Bud provided excellent coverage of the ferret issue. Our story was picked up by National Public Radio, CBS national news and a host of local TV and radio stations. Your donations will support both of the nominal fees charged us by these experts. We are in the process of setting up the articles of incorporation and by-laws, which are the essentials of a legitimate organization. We are also setting up an independent bank account for the funds received. When these tasks are finished, my father and I hope you will help support the work of our experts mentioned above, and our other very serious work on your behalf.

We also plan to help reach Californians to advise them of critical opportunities to write or call their local representatives or the Fish and Game Commission. If the California Domestic Ferret Association is no longer involved in legalization, we hope that they see to it that all of the names of the 4,500-5,000 Californians who are clearly interested in the legalization effort and who were mailed the last CDFA newsletter are notified so their voices can be heard at these very critical times. If CDFA cannot do so because of their quest for 501(c)3 status, we hope they will make these names available to either Ferrets Anonymous or Californians For Ferret Legalization. We need to reach every Californian we can at the appropriate time if we expect ferrets to be legalized in California. Also on our agenda, and currently in the hands of a professional hired to set up 501(c)3 organizations, is our family foundation dedicated to ferret welfare. We plan to raise a large endowment, we already have $50,000 pledged in matching funds, that will be dedicated to educating the public about the special requirements of the ferret before purchase. Hopefully such a brochure, produced in large quantities and made available to interested clubs and shelters, can help stem the tide of unwanted ferrets that ferret rescue organizations have coming through their doors. It will also relieve them of the burden of producing such a brochure. We also plan to give to rescue operations that meet the criteria of our by-laws. We plan to solicit input from ferret folks already in rescue, and will look to the professionals we know in the humane field as a source of useful guidance. We want to know what works with the public to increase their sense of responsibility for the little lives in their hands.

Dad and I are really excited about both of these organizations and hope you will support both of them.

Sincerly,

Jeanne Carley
Ferret Legalization Coordinator
Californians For Ferret Legalization


Fish and Game Hearing in Nov.

I understand that there is some confusion about the upcoming hearing in Yosemite and whether or not citizens should attend. We have a letter from Bob Treanor, Executive director of the Fish and Game Commission addressed to the attorney my father hired, Joe Kouri, stating quite clearly that legal opinions on the question of the Commission's authority to hear and decide the ferret issue are to be presented to Mr. Randy Christison (the Commission's legal counsel) in advance of that hearing, and that he will present them to the Commission. We don't like the idea that the opinions of the legal authorities representing our side (Joe Kouri of Bononi and Kouri and Mary Ellen Hogan of McDermott, Wills and Emery), will be filtered through anyone representing the oppositon. Can you imagine a judge allowing Marcia Clark to deliver Johnny Cochran's closing arguments? Anyway, the attorney's are dealing with that issue but what is clear at this point is that individuals would be wasting their time in attending the hearing. We're not certain if our attorneys will even be allowed time for a presentation. Hopefully both will be there to monitor the veracity of the deliverance of their opinions to the Commission, but public testimony is not on the agenda. Please, if anyone has questions about what's going on, or what to do, get the information first hand. Something generally gets lost in the translation otherwise. Get the CA UPDATE directly from me by e-mailing me at , or visit the {link deleted} .

Jeanne Carley
Ferret Legalization Coordinator
Californians For Ferret Legalization


Regarding Rescue

There was some concern about the continuation of rescue effrots and CDFA. CDFA has the permit for rescue and should be continuing in that effort. As a member I will continue to perform rescue in my area and will also facilitate rescue as I have in many other regions. Where I see a need for a new program, such as the rescue at the Agricultural stations, I will work hard to improve the situation in California for ferrets.

Jeanne Carley
Californians For Ferret Legalization


New Organization Formed in California

Dear FMLers and CA UPDATE Folks,

Effective immediately I am resigning my position as Legislative Director of the California Domestic Ferret Association. My father and I have been extremely active in ferret legalization and will continue in that endeavor with an umbrella organization, Californians For Ferret Legalization. My working relationship with Jan Goldsmith (our Assembly author), Quentin Kopp (our Senate author), Dick Schumacher (Executive Director of the California Veterinary Medical Association), and Bob Naylor (our lobbyist) remains firm and unchanged.

Californians For Ferret Legalization has already made its presence heard in the national arena by sending over 600 letters to veterinarians asking for their help by writing the Rabies Compendium Committee advising them of the need for a quarentine time for vaccinated ferrets that bite. Our next appearance will be at the WWPSA trade show in San Mateo in conjunction with the Golden State Ferret Society.

In addition to Californians For Ferret Legalization, whose existence should be short term, my father and I are in the process of setting up a 501(c)3 corporation dedicated to the welfare of ferrets. We have $50,000 in matching funds for an expected eventual endowment of $100,000.00. We've seen ferret clubs and shelters all over the country work hard and spend valuable resources in the creation of important ferret educational brochures. Our goal is to offer some relief for clubs in this area by producing materials educating potential ferret owners of the special behavioral and physical needs of the ferret in an attempt to prevent unwanted and abandoned animals. We also intend to make charitable contributions to qualifying shelters in need of financial support.

I'm looking forward to a continued presence in the legalization efforts here in California with Californians For Ferret Legalization. I'm also very excited about my family's foundation dedicated to bettering the lives of this special little animal. It will be a legacy of our shared love of the domesticated ferret, and we look forward to working with so many of you who share that love.

Sincerely,
Jeanne Carley
P.S. I may be moving to a new internet service and will change my e-mail address when I make that change. Until then, I can still be reached at .


Hearing on decision on Commission authority to rule on ferret issue reserved for November 7 & 8 meeting in Yosemite [changed from Tahoe].

Pro-ferret forces thankfully got a postponement from the Commission on the discussion of whether or not the Commission has the authority to remove ferrets from the prohibited species list.

Floyd Carley and attorney Joe Kouri had a three way phone conference with Deputy Attorney General Randy Christison during which strong arguments were made for the postponement. Ferret proponents were given less than 24 hours notice by mail to prepare a legal response to whether or not the Commission can legally deal with the ferret question.

The issue came to my attention when I asked Jan Goldsmith's office if they knew what DFG was up to regarding the agenda item. Documents faxed to me from that office revealed plans hatching to persuade the Commission that they lacked the authority to remove the ban on ferrets by reclassify ferrets from wild to domesticated.

I immediately called Dick Schumacher, current and continuing CVMA Executive Director (rumors to the contrary notwithstanding), and he suggested that we try our best to delay the hearing. Phone calls were placed to both Mr. Christison and Bob Treanor and the decision was made to delay the issue giving ferret proponents time to make their legal arguments.

It looks like we have the help of a professional Environmental law firm on the CEQA issue, and I'm in the process of trying to enlist their help in this arena as well. We need the arguments to be made by experts in this field, and it looks like we have the financial backing to be able to enlist their help.

Jeanne Carley
Ferret Legalization Coordinator


Fish & Game Commission desperately wants to avoid ferret hearing. Tell them to not duck the issue.

The California Attorney General's office originally ruled that the Fish and Game Commission had the authority to remove the ferret from the list of prohibited wildlife (by finding it a domesticated species). However, that opinion was issued in the absence of the regular (read biased) Deputy Attorney General assigned to deal with Commission matters named Randy Christison. Mr. Christison, upon his return, has decided that the Commission does not have the authority to delist the ferret. Why? Because the ferret appears in the list of prohibited WILDLIFE, therefore, it is consistent with the statute banning non-native and detrimental WILDLIFE! Doesn't anyone at the Commission level see something wrong with this picture? So, the removal of a single domesticated species from a wildlife list is inconsistent with the statute banning non-native wildlife, but the inclusion of a single domesticated species in this wildlife list is not inconsistent? This is clearly a very biased opinion and need to be overruled.

Interestingly, it's the same type of thinking that Terry Mansfield (head of WILDLIFE protection services for the Department of Fish and Game) exhibited at a recent meeting as an explanation for the department's jurisdiction over a single DOMESTICATED species. Mansfield stated that it was clear that the department was intended to have jurisdiction over the domesticated ferret because it appears in the wildlife list. NEVER MIND THAT IT'S A DOMESTICATED PET! NO ONE IN GOVERNMENT EVER MAKES A MISTAKE.

It is patently clear that the Fish and Game Commission and Fish and Game Department is doing everything they can to avoid a formal hearing on the ferret issue. Why? Because they know that there will be no place to hide from the truth-- that the ferret is domesticated, that it clearly does not belong in that wildlife list, and that people have a right to own them as pets if they so choose. The Fish and Game Department first stalled us on this issue for over a year ago by claiming in November 1995, after the Commission voted to go to notice, that they could not afford the resources to produce an environmental document until after May 1st, 1996. Then they told us in August that they weren't going to do the document, that we had to pay consultants to research it (estimated cost between 50,000-150,000). (The moral equivalent of this request would have been to require Rosa Parks to conduct, pay for, and submit, a financial impact statement to the Alabama municipal bus system before being allowed to legally take that front row seat!

In September we heard that DFG will go ahead with the document and have hearings in February. Now those hearings are in jeopardy. These are the actions of an agency desperately trying to hang on to an issue they should have let go of years ago. It criminalizes good people, wastes precious state resources, and aleinates good people from their government. Do not let the Commission or the Department duck this issue by abdicating their responsibility to you, the good people of California. Attend the meeting on October 4th if you can. Pick up a speaker card and tell the Commission that they can and should rule. They do have the authority, and the removal of the domesticated ferret from this wildlife list is something they must do now.

The meeting begins at 8:30 A.M. on Friday, October 4th, and the AG's opinion on ferrets is item #19. *** I just spoke with the Executive Director of the California Veterinary Medical Association, and we are going to try to get a postponement on the hearing on item #19, but we do not know if we will be successful. Please call the commission (916) 653-4899 for an update next week to see if it is still on the agenda. If it is, please attend and make your opinion known. The address for the hearing is:

Hubb Seaworld Research Building
2595 Ingraham Street
San Diego, CA

In addition, please write today to the Executive Director of the Commission. His name is Robert Treanor and he can be reached at:

Robert Treanor Executive Director, California Fish and Game Commission
Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

Or, you can fax your letter but make certain it says to the Commission because the fax is in DFG's building. Fax number (916) 653-1856.

Jeanne Carley
Ferret Legalization Coordinator


CA UPDATE-- Commission Will Go To Notice In December!!!!!

On the heels of the incredible news that the Fish and Game Department expected ferret supporters to pay for a full-blown Environmental Impact Report (EIR,) prepared by a consultant for $50,00.00 - $150,000.00, we're now told the Commission will publish notice in December of their intent to amend the regulation banning ferrets, and the hearing should be held in February.

What this good news means is that the Commission will open a window on public commentary for 45 days beginning sometime in January and ending in February. This window is just like a real window-- don't send your letters until it is open! Paper gliders don't sail through closed windows and neither will your letter of support. But when it is open, and I'll let you know, please write a strong letter supporting legalization. Ask friends and family members to do the same. We have to show how much popular support there is for the State to decriminalize ferret ownership in California. This hearing is ciritcal to legalization and we need everyone's help.

Californians, if you've not participated in any of our letter-writing campaigns before, please don't sit this one out! The Commission has the authority to remove ferrets from the list of prohibited wildlife. THEY CAN LEGALIZE FERRETS. Write those letters and ask everyone you know to do the same. Make it easy for them and let them know the facts-- We're the only state in the continental U.S. to prohibit ownership of one of the safest domesticated pets to people and the enviornment. California has no right to ban ownership of any domesticated pet.

We'll also need strong attendance at the hearing(s). Last year Robert Treanor, Executive Director of the Commission, spoke of having two hearings, one in southern California and one in northern California. I don't know yet if that's still going to be the case, but we'll let you know.

If you don't live in California, your letter may help us too. I want to run the idea by our experts, at this but I think the fact that you won't visit, can't move here, or relocate for business or school, has merit, and the Commission should know about it. You may also have friends or acquaintances that live in California, so if you do, please get them to write those letters.

I understand that the department will be producing an environmental document of some sort. If it is anything other than a negative declaration, it is slander. If you read my last update, 94.6% of the projects under CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) get a negative declaration. With 50 letters from 50 State Department's of Fish and Game documenting an absence of feral ferrets, with the omission of ferrets from the list of feral domesticated species in the Office of Technology Assesment report, Harmful Non-Indigenous Species in the United States, the preponderance of the evidence suggests that ferrets will have NO impact on the evironment. With the recent legalization of the ferret in Massachusetts, Michigan, Georgia, New Hampshire and Vermont, a negaitive declaration is clearly appropriate.

As far as the issue of Public Health goes, it's hard to make ferrets out to be a serious threat to public safety when so many states permit them. Are children different here? Are we talking about a different kind of ferret? The answer is no, they're the same. And, the recent quarantine policies for vaccinated ferrets that bite adopted by Kansas, New Hampshire, Texas, South Carolina and Maryland reveal that the California Department of Health Services concern that vaccinated ferrets would have to be put down is simply not true. There's no reason that California couldn't adopt a reasonable approach to bite instances along the lines of these states and the other states, such as Colorado, that quarantine ferrets.

So, the good news is that we're going to have our hearing after all. Your participation in writing letters and attending the hearings is key to our success. As soon as the dates and locations of the hearings are made known, as soon as the window on public commentary is opened, we'll let you know. In the meantime, sharpen those pencils, flex those fingers, and get ready for THE opportunity to make your voice heard by a Commission that has the power to LEGALIZE YOUR PETS.

Jeanne Carley,
Coordinator


CA UPDATE--The New Fish and Game Story--It's real Fishy

Some of this information is not new to some of you, but it's important to bring everybody up to date, and for everyone to be able to put the latest crazy events in an historical context.

Almost a year ago, on August 3, 1995, Floyd Carley (my dedicated dad) made a terrific presentation to the Fish and Game Commission after which the Commission directed the Department of Fish and Game to reply to the charges made-- that not only was the ferret domesticated and therefore not in DFG's jurisdiction, but that the department's misguided prohibition of the ferret in California resulted in wasted good will and taxpayer dollars in the regulation of a domesticated pet that is clearly safer to the environment than most other domesticated species, and statisfically safer to people (by a factor of 200 times) than the domesticated dog.

The department was ordered to reply at the November 1995 hearing (the fact that it took 3 months will become clear to you as part a disturbing pattern). That hearing, as many of you know, took place in San Diego, and presentations were given by Assemblymember Jan Goldsmith, our resolution's author, Dr. Dick Schumacher, Executive Director of the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), and by my father, who literally dismembered the position taken by the Health Department against ferrets as a threat to public safety.

After 2&1/2 hours of debate and nail-biting, the Commission voted 3-2 to go to notice and publish their intent to remove the domesticated ferret from the list of prohibited wildlife. However, the Department of Fish and Game raised the necessity of applying CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) to our request, as a prerequisite to going to notice. It was suggested that the "ferret folks" help out with the study but the Commission's president at the time, Frank Boren, said that he wasn't sure it was a good idea for us to be involved. The department said that they could not spend the staff time on an additional study at the moment, because of the need to write new mammal regualations. DFG said that they would be able to start the study after May 1st and that it should take 2-3 months. This timetable was also confirmed by the agency's counsel, Randy Christianson, at a hearing I attended the following February in Long Beach.

To understand how CEQA is being used by the Department of Fish and Game to prevent a final hearing on our issue, it's important to know something about CEQA. By way of footnote, this information comes almost verbatim from the California Policy Seminar (CPS) Report entitled, "Fixing CEQA".

CEQA has four purposes: 1) to inform the public about the potential, significant (remember this word) environmental effects of proposed acitivites, 2) to identify ways that environmental damage can be avoided or signficantly reduced, 3) to prevent significant, avoidable damage to the environent by requiring changes in projects through the use of alternatives or mitigation measures, and 4) to ensure that a governmental agency discloses to the public the reasons why it approved a project if significant environmental effects are involved.

There is a three step screening process to CEQA. First, it has to be determined if the project is subject to CEQA. There are classes of projects which have been determined not to have a significant effect on the envionment and which are exempt from the provisions of CEQA. There are also categorical exemptions, and to guard against the possiblity that the list of these exemptions is incomplete, there are general, common-sense exemptions as well. Common-sense exemptions are those where it can be seen with certainty that there is no possiblity that the activity in question may have a significant (that word again) effect on the environment.

If it is determined that CEQA does apply, additional study of the envoronmental effects is required. Either a negative declaration or an EIR (Environmental Impact Report) is then submitted. An EIR is expensive and time consuming, and I've heard anything from $50,000-$150,000 as a possible price tag.

Straight from the CPS Report comes the following statistics which clearly reveal how the department is stretching this regulatory act to fit their intentions. In 1990, 16,373 projects were determined to be CEQA projects. Guess how many received negative declarations? How about 15,439! That means 94.3% of all projects received a negative declaration. And these are construction projects, grading land, diverting water etc.

And now for the clincher. This month, we were told that the department is not doing any study on the ferret issue, that even though they were told to do it they're not going to, and that instead of the negative declaration that this issue deserves, a full-blown EIR is what the department is expecting. Yes, in their minds, we're one of the less than 6% of CEQA projects that has to go through such a hoop, because legalizing that bundle of fur that spends its whole life comfortably in your home or apartment has been determined by this agency to demonstrate the potential of significant impact on the environment.

In other words, we've been lied to again by this agency and have lost eight months of time waiting for them to put their new mammal regualtions on the books before they began the study they told us they had to do, and were going to do, before the Commission could even consider removing ferrets from the prohibited species list.

I believe our issue is exempt from CEQA. There never has, nor will there ever be, any significant impact on the environment from legalizing ferrets. In fact, if any of you have ever lost a ferret, you know from your terror that the environment has a much more severe impact on the ferret than the other way around. Besides, applying CEQA to the removal of a domesticated species from a list of prohibited wildlife doesn't make sense. CEQA or no CEQA, that animal doesn't belong there and how can anyone justify applying CEQA to an error? The moral equivalent of invoking CEQA in the ferret issue would be requiring Rosa Parks to submit a financial impact report to the Alabama municipal bus system before she could legally take that front row seat.

In any case, the new story from DFG is that the agency now maintains that an EIR is necessary even though CEQA clearly states that an EIR is required only if it can be fairly argued on the basis of SUBSTANTIAL evidence that the proposed project may have a SIGNIFICANT effect on the environment. As most of you already know, substantial evidence points to the opposite-- because ferrets do not survive outdoors and establish feral colonies, legalizing them will have no effect on the environment. DFG can't point to a single example of ferrets impacting the environment anywhere in California or this country. Requiring citizens to provide this kind of expensive and time-consuming report before doing what is clearly the right thing is an example of what has alienated so many good people from their government.

And get this. DFG's justification for their ability to regulate a single domesticated species is, according to them, because it appears in the list. A fantastic case of circular reasoning. I wonder if I could stop paying taxes if I were mistakenly listed as deceased with the California Health Department Services. Since these agencies believe themselves to be infallible, I would probably cease to exist!

My father found out the bad news when he called Bob Treanor, Executive Secretary of the Fish and Game Commission to find out when they might finish their study and go to notice. He was informed that we are now expected to do the study, that it is not, in their opinion a negaitve declaration, and that an EIR is necessary because "of the controversy." Well, controversy is not on of the 26 effects listed in CEQA as a reason for necessitating an EIR. In fact, the crazy thing is that were it not for the outright lies and misinformation from DFG on the ferret issue, there would be no controversy. So, in effect, DFG tells us that because of their mishandling of what should be a straight-forward correction to this list of wildlife, we are to spend tens of thousands of dollars proving to them that legalizing ferrets won't be a problem, when, in fact, all we should have to prove is that the animal doesn't belong in this list by definition.

So, what to do? Everyone, please sit down and write your State Senator and State Assemblymember. Chances are your Assemblymember supported our resolution, HR 37, and it's a good time to take the opportunity to thank them if you haven't already. Tell both of your representatives about DFG's behavior on the CEQA issue. Use the statistics in this UPDATE, and tell them it's unfair, and simply an effort to put off our chance to be heard. Our resolution, HR 37, called on the Fish and Game Commission to do the right thing by legalizing ferrets and the department has thrown up this regulatory roadblock to such a final determination. Let your State Senator know about the overwhelming 60-7 vote for HR 37 in the State Assembly, and tell him or her about the CEQA stalemate. It's very important that you write your State Senator. We need to pass in the Senate if we are to accomplish this legislatively. Don't let DFG's latest outrage go by without a fight. Get yourself, family members, friends, and even business aquaintances involved in writing those letters.

Jeanne Carley,
Coordinator


Subscribe to the CA Update

I receive many e-mails (and phone calls) asking what is currently happening in California, and thought that one way to keep folks current, is to identify a kind of group of folks interested in current California ferret legalization activities (whether you're inside California or not), and to send those folks my information in one fell e-mail swoop instead of piecemeal. This will be a lot easier on me. If you are interested in receiving my posts on California news directly from me, please e-mail me with your address and let me know using the words "CA Update."

The only request I make is that you feel free to forward these posts, with my log-on I.D. at the bottom, to any ferret interested party you wish, but that you not forward them on to the FML or other newsgroups. That will avoid unnecessary multiple posts to these groups and the resulting confusion as to the origin of the information.

I already have addresses for some of you that have contacted me already, but to be sure you get on the CA Update list, please e-mail me again. Hope this helps everyone become a better source for current legalization information.

Jeanne Carley


Update - Including Gov. Wilson Position

I just received my FA newsletter and found two things I need to update folks on based on new information from our lobbyist. First, the CA Waterfowl folks and the Farm Bureau only dropped their opposition to HR 37. They (at least Waterfowl, and probably the Farm Bureau as well) will make their stand at the eventual Commission hearing. That is one of the reasons why, when our time comes for the ferret question to be heard, we need to write tons of letters to the Fish and Game Commission in support of legalization. It will also be a terrific help to dump the FA petitions on their desk and let's hope that, by that time, it's closer to 20,000 signiatures!

The other thing is that Bob Naylor spoke to the legislative office of Governor Wilson and was told that the Governor does not have a position on the ferret issue. It's quite a shame that the low level staff in his office don't know this, and that some staffers have been telling the Capitol Press Corps that he does have a position, and that it's negative. This simply isn't true.

I don't think it will hurt though, in fact, I think it will help, to write POLITE and POSITIVE letters to Governor Wilson reminding him that he has called for major regulatory reform in this state and that the last two Governors to legalize ferrets were Governor Weld of MA, and Governor Engler of MI. These Governors have all been known for championing less intrusive government and the ferret ban is a perfect opportunity for Governor Wilson to give his citizens, and folks from out of state, some relief from a clearly overzealous agency.

Since Governor Wilson is neutral, please, let's not push him in the wrong direction. Make your letters upbeat and positive. If you wish to write to the Governor, write to:

Governor Pete Wilson
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Thanks for all of the hard work many of you have been doing over these months, and in some cases years! I think the inevitable will happen, that ferrets will be legalized in California, and that the Department of Fish and Game's strategy is to delay the inevitable. But we'll keep pushing.

Jeanne Carley
Coordinator ()


HR 37 Passed Assembly

May 16, 1996

AYES 60, NOES 7, ABSTAINED(w/2=vacant) 13.

Click HERE to see how the vote went.

REMEMBER... THIS RESOLUTION DOES NOT LEGALIZE FERRETS IN CALIFORNIA!

The resolution merely calls upon the Fish and Game Commission to remove the ferret from their list of wild animals and to end the ban on sale, ownership or possession of ferrets in California. We hope that the Commission will hurry up and hold a hearing on this issue and stop dragging their feet.

There was some press coverage in today's San Francisco Chronicle (see entire article here). It is not the greatest article, there are some inaccuracies. For instance, the article states, "The move still awaits approval by the state Senate." This is not true. This was a House Resolution, thereby there is no need for it to go to the Senate, or the Governor for that matter.


GOVERNOR WILSON AGAINST FERRET LEGALIZATION!!

BAD NEWS FOLLOWS GOOD NEWS IN SACRAMENTO

May 15, 1996

After the stunning 11-0 yes vote on HR 37 (there were two abstentions, and no votes against) I woke up to the following quote in the San Francisco Chronicle (see entire article here), "Although no one testified against the resolution, Wilson's office said the governor opposes legalization of the squirmy cousins of the weasel."

If you live in California, if you wish to visit California, if you someday may need, or want, to move to California, or, if you simply are tired of the persecution of the ferret and its owners here in California, you MUST call the Governor's office at (916) 445-1455 and tell him of your displeasure with his position, and that he should SUPPORT legalization. [Webmaster's Note: The State's website lists Governor Wilson's Capitol office number as (916) 445-2841, and his Fax number as (916) 445-4633.]

I can't believe that we have overcome so many hurdles and now face a problem with the Governor, but so be it, we are all his constituents. Please ask all of your family members, friends, co-workers, veterinarians and vet techs and pet store folks to call and express their opinion on the Governor's opinion. And please do it ASAP. Make flyers with his telephone number for vet offices, pet stores and your place of business. Don't let him be misled by these corrupted state agencies!

And please, arm yourselves with a copy of the Pacific Research Institute Report. This report is the best thing for our issue since sliced bread for the sandwhich market. Dad purchased 1,000 of these and over half of them are reserved for lobbying efforts. The rest are available to you at a cost of $5.00 per report. Educate yourself and help Dad recoup his cost. Please send checks to me, Jeanne Carley, 410 Mountain Home Road, Woodside, CA 94062.

Thanks in advance for your help with the Governor's office. He really needs to hear from you!

Jeanne Carley, Coordinator


HR 37 passed Committee

May 14, 1996

Now onto the Assembly Floor!

House Resolution 37 was passed through the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee today with 11 AYE votes, 0 NO votes, and 2 ABSTAINING (official). Now it goes to the Assembly Floor for a vote. This will hopefully occur on Thrusday, May 16. Yes!.. two days from now! Which is why we need to move fast. Here is a list of all of the Assembly members' Capitol office phone numbers and their faxes (if they have one). Some of the members also have email addresses, so you will find some of their names in hypertext "mailto" links. I haven't got around to hypertexting all the members who have email, so please try using this format with your representative: "Firstname.Lastname@assembly.ca.gov". Also, please let me know immediately if any of these phone numbers are incorrect.

Please call/fax/email the Assembly Members prior to Thursday, regardless if the member is your local representative or not. Be polite and most of all, pro-ferret. Don't be anti-politician 'cause these are the people who are going to make it happen. Remember, this is all Fish & Game's fault for including a domestic pet on a wild species list.

Now, only if you have time after making those phone calls, Jeanne Carley is asking that you call/fax/email/write the Water, Parks & Wildlife Committe members who voted to pass this resolution and thank them for listening to the facts and making the right decision. Here are the Assembly members who voted AYE:

There were, again zero NO votes, but the following two memers abstained:

Please do not "flame" the abstaining members. We need to concentrate on the rest of the Assembly, so refocus any negative energy, pick up the phone, and have a nice conversation with your local Assembly member and urge them to vote AYE when HR 37 is on the floor.

And remember, domestic ferrets are STILL ILLEGAL in California! This Resolution is only a step in the right direction.


Can't Thank Everyone Enough

May 14, 1996

Hello everyone,

This, I promise, will be brief. The final vote in Committee was a whopping 11-Zip!!! No one voted against the resolution and two folks abstained.

The ferret folks (ALL OF YOU) inside and outside of California have done a terrific job. Offices we visited on Monday the day before the hearing said that they had received tons of faxes, letters and calls.

Ferret folks I heard calling into a radio show that Jan Goldsmith participated in were so informed and articulate it was just great! The talk show personality actually said, "Well, I'd love to hear from the opposition-- if there is any!" We can thank Bud Jackson and Bill Williamson (for recommending Bud) for the excellent coverage we have been receiving.

I hope all of you will hang in there and work hard this Wednesday with your own Assemblymembers so we can pass on the Assembly floor if Jan decides to move it on Thursday. A terrifically lopsided vote on the Assembly floor as we had in Committee will be a bombshell with the Commission.

Thanks to everyone who helped out at the rally. We had folks from all four California groups and it went off beautifully. And thanks to all of you who contacted your representatives to tell them to support this issue-- it worked!

I'm going to try to make it through the news tonight (we're going to toast the committee, Bud Jackson, and all of you), then I plan to sleep for about 14 hours.

Sweet dreams,

Jeanne Carley, Coordinator


A note from the CA State Capitol...

March 13, 1996

Hello Ferret Lovers,

Just a brief note from the California State Capitol to tell you all what a terrific job you've done with this Committee. Based on what we've seen so far, we're going to do very well tomorrow and all of you should smile and be proud of your hard work.

Literally every office we visited told us of the overwhelming public support for the issue. Staffers said that not only have they received visits in the district, but in the Capitol as well.

Assemblyman Jan Goldsmith patted a stack of over 13,000 signatures collected by Ferrets Anonymous and other volunteers in support of ferret legalization. Congratulations to Pat Wright and every single volunteer that filled in one or more signature sheets.

Other great news is that both California Waterfowl and the Farm Bureau have dropped their opposition to House Resolution 37. But please don't stop now! Jan wants to move this resolution to the Assembly on Thursday, May 16.

You've educated thirteen members of this House already, now we need to move on to the other sixty-four. Please celebrate our victory in this Committee by spending Wednesday and Thursday morning calling on the rest of the Assembly members. [Webmasters Note: Here is a list of the Assembly Member's Capitol office phone numbers and fax numbers, if applicable.]

Thanks so much for all of your hard work. This will be a great message to the Fish & Game Commission.

Jeanne Carley


Californians Take Note.....

May 12, 1996

In addition to the update below, I have been told that several fax machines no longer answer (we believe them to be out of paper..... oh my?!?!?!?!) So if you don't get an fax in today.... do it tomorrow in addition to the calling....

Glad to see the weekend fax campaign is in full-swing, as well as the phone calls on Monday. It's an important final push before the hearing!

As an update to everyone, let me tell you what has been done in the media world:

The San-Jose Mercury News will have a good column by Sue Hutchison in its Tuesday morning edition -- just in time for committee members to read.

Jeanne Carley has done multiple radio interviews in the last couple of days, including on National Public Radio.

Associated Press ran a story that was actually read by someone in New Hampshire (I was told this today by a friend back there.)

The California press corps have all received media advisories and press releases about the upcoming Monday morning press conference. On Monday, they'll receive another advisory relative to the Tuesday morning rally.

CDFA1@AOL.com (California Domestic Ferret Association)


CALL TO ARMS!!! YOUR HELP NEEDED!!!

WE NEED HELP THE FOLLOWING HELP:

Please fax a letter -- and ask others to do the same -- supporting the legalization of ferrets and HR 37 prior to Sunday. Your letter may simply be addressed "Dear Assemblymember:" FAX THIS LETTER TO ME at (415) 365-1707 OR directly to each of the following legislative committee member fax numbers:

ON MONDAY -- PLEASE CALL AND URGE THEM TO SUPPORT HR 37 AND VOTE IN FAVOR OF FERRETS AT THEIR TUESDAY HEARING

To recap, fax letters this weekend and make calls on Monday!

We're almost there. Please take a moment and help in this most important final push!

Thanks!

Jeanne Carley


Help in California Districts

WE NEED HELP IN THE FOLLOWING DISTRICTS

If you live in the San Bernardino area, Assemblyman Joe Bacca's district, he needs to hear from you by phone or fax by Monday. His district phone and fax are (909) 885-2222, fax (909) 888-5959. In Sacramento call (916) 445-7454, fax (916) 324-6980. If you live in the Hollister area, Assemblyman Peter Frussetta needs to hear from you by Monday. His district phone and fax are (408) 636-4890, fax (408) 636-4903. In Sacramento call (916) 445-7380 or fax (916) 324-0986. If you live in the Long Beach area, Assemblyman Phil Hawkins needs to hear fom you. His district numbers are (310) 984-7709. His fax is (310) 984-9469. In Sacramento call (916) 445-6047, fax (916) 327-1784. If you live in the Culver City area, Kevin Murray's district, he need to hear from you. His district tel is (213) 292-8800, fax (213) 292-8899, or in Sacramento, (916) 445-8800,fax (916) 445-8899. If you live in the Fresno area you should contact Brian Setencich at (209) 276-3488, fax (209) 276-8154, in Sacramento, (916) 445-7558, fax (916) 323-1097, AND, Chuck Poochigian at (209) 224-7833, fax (209) 223-7835. In Sacramento, you can reach Mr. Poochigian at (916) 445-2913, or fax (916) 445-3832.

Please contact these Assemblymembers immediately. If we don't get out of this committee, we won't be on the Assembly floor, and the lies DFG are perpetuating will continue.

Jeanne Carley, Coordinator


PRI Report

The Pacific Research Institute Report will be featured at a press conference on the ferret resolution given on Capitol steps on Monday, May 13th, in Sacramento. This report, from a well respected, neutral third party, shows the Department of Fish and Game's and Health Services' history of lies and misinformation on the ferret issue. It is a must read for Californians, and will help folks in other parts of the country dispel the myths promulgated by these agencies years ago.

To get a copy, simply send a check for $5.00 per copy to Jeanne Carley, 410 Mountain Home Road, Woodside, CA 94062. If you live in California, you need to see this incredible story on the abuse of government power! It's a strong condemnation of DFG and Health Services.


Major Study on California Ferret Wars!

Are you fighting a legalization battle in your area? Are you ignorant of the facts that compare ferrets to other domestic animals? Do you live in California, or Hawaii, where information on the ferret is incorrect, misleading or outright wrong?

Anyone dealing with state or municipal agencies, or lawmakers, on ferret legalization should write away for one or more copies of the report, "Ferreting out the Facts on the California Department of Fish & Game's War on the Domestic Ferret," which has just been published by the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy (PRI).

The briefing, as it is called, is 22 pages, including footnotes, and is the product of a well respected conservative think tank that acts as a kind of watchdog on the excesses of government. The author is Michael Lynch, a very bright public policy fellow that has written reports for PRI, as well as articles that have appeared in numerous political publications.

As we all know, the California Department of Fish and Game's work on the ferret issue hasn't been exactly "think tank" quality, and this report gives the agency an "F" for its inability to adhere to the facts. It also slams the infamous California Department of Health Services Report from 1988 calling it an "intellectual hatchett job on the ferret."

If you are from California, or are involved in ferret legalization in your city, state or county, you should have copies of this report for any meeting or presentation you put on. If you are unaware of the facts of ferret ownership relative to other domesticated species and simply want to be prepared for a possible attempt to ban or restrict ferret ownership, you should have a copy of this report.

To order a copy, you can write me, Jeanne Carley, at 410 Mountain Home Road, Woodside, CA 94062. The cost is $5.00 per report and includes mailing. Or, you can order directly from the Pacific Research Institute at 755 Sansome Street, #450, San Francisco, CA 94111. If you order from me, make the check payable to me. If you order from PRI, make it payable to them. In either case, be sure to mention the title of the report and how many copies you wish to receive and where to send them.

It's terrific bed-time reading for anyone that has suffered the injustices of living in a ferret-free-zone, or has been involved in defending this wonderful companion animal from the abuses of ignorant people.

Jeanne Carley, Coordinator
410 Mountain Home Road
Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


Come to the Ferret Hearing In Sacramento

Jan Goldsmith is asking that all ferret folks interested in House Resolution 37 attend the hearing in the State Capitol set for May 14th at 9:00 A.M. (in Room 440 I believe-- please see the Weasel Web for the correct room number, or look for an update from me, or call me or e-mail me for the correct room number). [Webmaster's Note: According to the California Assembly Website the correct hearing location is in Room 444].

Please take the day off, call in sick, whatever you have to do to show your support for this Resolution, and for the legislator that has been so solidly behind the ferret issue since day one-- Jan Golsmith.

Help show Jan, his collegues, and the media, how many folks care about the legalization of ferrets. Jan's office also mentioned that we should bring signs so be creative with your slogans, i.e., "F E R R E T S = F R E E D O M," or, "In California, he's a Convict, everywhere else, he's a pet." Whatever, this is obviously not my forte, but you can have some fun with it.

But please remember, if anyone deserves your barbs, it's the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG), not the Legislature. We're asking for their help, so don't attack them, attack the law itself, and the agency that's behind it.

Jeanne Carley
Coordinator
415 851-3750,


Important Alert: Incorrect Assembly Addresses

It has come to my attention that both CDFA and Ferrets Anonymous were supplied with incorrect addresses for four of the Committee Members of Water, Parks and Wildlife. If your Assemblyman is one of the four listed below, please assume that your letter(s) did not reach him (some have already been returned as undeliverable). Take a moment to write him again using the new address. These Assemblymen are on the Committee through which our Ferret Resolution must pass, so it is essential that they receive as many letter from constituents as possible. Sorrry for the inconvenience.

These are the correct addresses:

If you live in California, please come forward to help out. You have the right to own the domesticated pet of yur choice. It is a right guaranteed by our State consitutuion. Don't let the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) criminalize you for exercising that right. Get involved, make your wishes heard-- but remember, the person representing you in the California Assembly is not the problem, DFG is, so be friendly and polite in your letters to your Assembly representatives.

Please phone me or e-mail me if you are willing to distribute flyers in your area to local pet stores and veterinarians' offices. I especially need to hear from folks in Los Angeles and San Diego. If we lose this resolution, not only will we have lost an opportunity to send a strong message to the Fish and Game Commission to legalize ferrets, but we will be sending a poor message and it could have serious consequences when they finally do hear testimony on the ferret issue. As one lobbyist said, upon reviewing the Committee members, "this isn't a slam dunk by any means."

Now is the time to pull out all the stops. Please, help us help ferrets and their owners in California. I'm also looking for Californians that have had run-ins with Fish and Game concerning ferrets who would speak to the media about it. Have you had your animals confiscated? Have you had fines? Have your ferrets been euthanized? Contact me ASAP on any of these issues listed above, and if you are willing to help out.

Jeanne Carley
Coordinator
415 851-3750


Flyers Available

I have an adorable flyer available for anyone that wants to help that can be copied and distributed to local pet stores and veterinarian's offices. At the bottom of the flyer fill-in the name and address of your local Assembly Representative before copying the flyer so that folks picking up the flyer can have that information readily available. Please call me, or e-mail me, with your snail-mail address so I can send you a couple of copies of this flyer. It's a great way to reach people who may not realize the resolution will be heard soon.


Jeanne Carley
Coordinator
415 851-3750


HR 37 Hearing Set

The Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee hearing for House Resolution 37 has been scheduled for May 14th, 1996 at 9 a.m. in Room 444 (according to the California Assembly Website). That leaves less than 4 weeks to let the Committee members know how important this issue is to us. It also gives us less than one month to complete our photo drive.


House Resolution 37

Everyone can help our efforts here by spreading the word about House Resolution 37 and Jan Goldsmith's Photo Drive. Many of you have newsletters that reach Californians, others may have friends, family or business contacts here in California. It would really help our efforts if you would write or call your California contacts and ask them to please write or call their State ASSEMBLY Representative. If they don't know who that is, they can call their county registrar of voters and ask.

When the Massachusettes bill was up, I asked Sharon Burbine for a list of the Committee members and sat down and wrote every Massachusettes contact I had and asked them to contact the Committee Chair and Vice Chair. Please do the same for us in California. We need a WIN to be able to send a strong message to the Fish and Game Commission--LEGALIZE FERRETS NOW!

Send a short letter to everyone you know in California and ask them to write their own Assembly Representative IN ADDITION TO these two Committee members (the letters need to urge them to pass HR 37, the ferret resolution and should include the usual great arguments, i.e. ferrets are domesticated pets, legal in 48 states and virtually the rest of the world, are considered private property by our State Constitution, are safer to people than dogs and safer to wildlife than cats, etc.):

Dominic Cortese (Chair, Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee)
100 Paseo de San Antonio #300
San Jose, CA 95113
Tel: (408) 269-6500

Bob Margett (Vice Chair, Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee)
208 N. First Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91006
Tel: (818) 446-3134


PHOTO DRIVE

Californians, please take pictures of your pets and put their names on the backs of the photos and mail them with a short letter including anecdotes about your ferrets to Jan Goldsmith's Capitol office (State Capitol, Room 2136, Sacramento, CA 95814. He's looking for a "Miracle on 34th Street"--you remember, where Santa's existence was proven via the mail delivery at the courthouse. Well, Jan's contention is that "ferrets ARE normally domesticated in this state" by the thousands, and he needs the photographs to prove it. Don't be concerned about confiscation. Just INCLUDE YOUR FIRST NAME AND CITY ONLY. No other information is required-- I suppose if you are really shy, you could use a different first name-- but in any case, PLEASE send your photos his way. If you are from out of state, please put this information in your newsletters, or make your phone calls to California ferret owners-- the month of April is photo month! Don't assume someone has already heard about it.


District Meetings

Jan Goldsmith wants district meetings in each of the 80 Districts. He also wants an important packet of information to go in with constituents at these meetings. This packet is our ammunition against the misinformation put out by the opposition-- Jan wants it hand delivered. If you live in California, and will set up a district meeting, please contact me and let me know who your Assembly Representative is and where I should send the packet. If I already have someone in your district planning a meeting, I'll put you in contact with them to go together. CALIFORNIA CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE THIS LEGISLATIVE VOTE SO NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL OF YOU OFFERING TO HELP, TO GET INVOLVED. OUR RESOLUTION SHOULD BE HEARD IN COMMITTEE IN EARLY MAY!

Jeanne Carley
Legislative Director, CDFA
410 Mountain Home Road
Woodside, CA 94062
(415) 851-3750


HSUS Change on CA

March 17, 1996

The following is being posted jointly by Howard Davis, Humane Affairs Coordinator for the League of Independent Ferret Enthusiasts (L.I.F.E.) and by Jeanne Carley, Legislative Director of the CDFA:

Several weeks ago, on the margins of the HSUS Animal Care EXPO '96 in Las Vegas, the new Vice President for Companion Animals, Martha Armstrong, hosted what turned out to be a most productive meeting between HSUS officials and invited representatives of ferret organizations from around the nation.

Participants on the HSUS side were Ms. Armstrong; Rachel Lamb, director for companion animals; West Coast representative Michael Winikoff; Eric Sakach, head of the West Coast Regional Office; and Richard Farinato, director of the captive wildlife protection program.

Ferret community participants were Howard Davis for L.I.F.E.; Chere McCoy, founder of Ferret Friends Disaster Response International; Troy Lynn Eckart, L.I.F.E. rabies coordinator and founder of Ferret Family Services; Pam Grant, founder of STAR* Ferrets; Jeanne and Floyd Carley of CDFA; and Stephanie and Rick Sheme of Ferrets Etc.

We are pleased to report that we have just been informed, in a personal communication from Ms. Armstrong, that the HSUS has revisited its position on legalization of ferrets in California. This new position could well signal, in our view, the beginning of a new era of amicable and mutually supportive ties between the ferret community and the nation's largest animal protection organization.

Ms. Armstrong said in her letter that although HSUS recognizes there are indications legislation will eventually pass changing the status of ferrets in California, it remained concerned about prospects for their exploitation.

She continues:

"We would not oppose legislation that legalizes the possession of ferrets as long as that legislation includes the following safeguards:

We wish to extend our warmest thanks to Martha Armstrong and the other HSUS officials involved for taking the time to give a serious hearing to ferret community concerns, and to applaud the HSUS for adopting this progressive and compassionate position, which represents a giant step toward public recognition of the domestic ferret as a companion animal entitled to the full protection of the law.

Howard Davis, L.I.F.E.
Jeanne Carley, CDFA


Ferret Folks in CA and out of State

March 15, 1996

Beginning with Brent Utley, the young man from Arizona whose ferrets were confiscated and who ended up spending a night it jail, I've been collecting letters (when I could talk someone into writing) from people hurt in some way by the ferret ban in California. In some cases it is a Californian harassed by an over-zealous warden, in some cases its folks facing a move to California who already have ferrets in their household. Brent's letter has been very effective, and many others have been used to illustrate this ridiculous situation. Please ask the person to include name and address (otherwise no one believes it and, if Brent hadn't put his name and address on his letter, it would have been difficult, if not impossible to get the press coverage we wanted.) If you are a CA resident and have had problems with DFG but still have ferrets, don't write. I don't want your name and address to get any extra attention. But if you've had to ship your ferrets out, please do write. If anyone else knows someone who has a sad story and either lives in California or lives out of state please ask them to write me about it at:

Jeanne Carley
410 Mountain Home Rd.
Woodside, CA 94062

Please ask them to keep it to a maximum of 2 pages, preferably one.

Thanks.


Great News!

March 5, 1996

California lawmaker, Jan Goldsmith, will introduce a resolution in the California Assembly that calls upon the Fish and Game Commission to remove the domestic ferret from its list of wild animals. It also calls upon the Commission to no longer prohibit the ownership or possession of ferrets.

Jan has bipartisan support for this measure and it is expected to be heard in the new Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee sometime after April 19th. In the meantime, Californians should sharpen their pens and pencils and get ready to politely educate this committee about our issue.

Since many of the members of this committee have changed, I've asked for the new list and will provide it to everyone as soon as I receive it. It's a few weeks too early to write since the language is not yet back from leg counsel.

Everyone is excited about the positive message that will be sent to the Commission when the California Assembly passes such a strong pro-ferret resolution (this does not address legalization but lets a Republican Commission know how a bipartisan, Republican majority Assembly, feels about this issue.

We hope everyone outside California will contact friends, family, and acquaintances inside California and have them write to these Committee members.

Thanks, all of you for your help.

Jeanne Carley,
CDFA Legislative Director
CLICK HERE for the text of HOUSE RESOLUTION 37 Relative to domestic ferrets.


A Message to all Ferret Lovers across the US. This is something that ALL of us can do, even those out of the state of CA. So start writing, please.

January 15, 1996

Dear M. Furo Enthusiast,

A window on public commentary is now open on all Department of Fish and Game regulations and will remain open until the end of February. This is in response to a directive from Governor Wilson for all agencies to review excess, burdensome and unnecessary regulations. The ban on our favorite domesticated animal is a perfect example of a regulation which is very burdensome (it criminalizes good people for something they already have a right to do) and is entirely unnecessary (these pets are legal virtually everywhere else and are one of the safest pets to the environment and to people).

Our bill, SB 55, became a regulatory bill and did not address legalization. Sadly, it died in committee. We feel that the mandatory spay/neuter and rabies vaccination was good for the animal and we may see a similar measure introduced in the Assembly, however, since last August, our best hopes have been with the Fish and Game Commission because they will consider one question: Is this animal wild or domesticated? They have already voted to go to notice on this issue, so save a copy or your letter to redate and ;mail when the Fish and Game Commission opens the window on public commentary for this particular issue.

But right now we can comment on ANY regulation so, please write and get at least 20 friends, relatives, co-workers, and acquaintances to join you. Our voices need to be heard. Don't miss this opportunity to let the CA Fish and Game Commission know what you feel, but please use diplomacy, as making them angry may only hurt our fight in the long run. Include your name and address, but do not admit to ferret ownership, unless you live in a legal area. Write before February 29th to insure that your letters are part of the official record.

Write to:
Mr. Robert Treanor, Executive Director
Fish and Game Commission
14169th Street 13th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Send a copy of your letter to the Governor of CA as well at:
Governor Pete Wilson
Governor's Office
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Thanks for your help, and together we WILL succeed.

Jeanne Carley, CDFA Legislative Director


January 9, 1996

Senate Bill KILLED in Committee

UPDATE-- The bill SB55 had been amended on January 3, 1996. It was changed by the author to become a regulatory bill only. If passed, it would have allowed, ONLY "...if the Fish and Game Commission determines that domestic ferrets are not wild or feral animals or they may be possessed and sold in this state..., domestic ferrets to be imported for, and owned as, pets without a permit if the owner of a ferret..." vaccinates it against rabies and has it spayed or neutered.

In other words, the bill would not have come close to passing through the Senate Natural Resources Committee (failed 3 to 5) if it had included legalization. The author had realized this and changed it to exclude legalization and leave it up to the Fish and Game Commission to change the law administratively. We only asked if they were to become legal, they be vaccinated and spayed/neutered. Since it did fail, that restriction does not exist.

Wow, think about it, as much as HSUS beats us over the head with spaying and neutering our cats and dogs, they still showed opposition to this bill.

We are not dead in the water. The Fish and Game Commission is expected to have their next hearing on this issue around May, if not earlier. Jeanne Carley, CDFA Legislative Director, is asking Assemblymember, Jan Goldsmith, to author a bill similar to SB55 and present it to the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee. I have not received confirmation that he has agreed. We are closer than we have ever been... closer than you realize. Please be patient. Visit our web page again soon, and we'll let you know what the next step is.

The following senators voted AYE on 1/9/96:

The following senators voted NO on 1/9/96:

The following senators were absent, abstaining, or not voting on 1/9/96:


November 3, 1995

From the Associated Press

State authorities to study letting ferrets be pets

SAN DIEGO -- State Fish and Game commissioners weaseled out of making a decision Thursday [November 2, 1995] to lift a ban on ferrets, agreeing only to study the environmental impact of the fury critters as household pets. An estimated 500,000 Californians keep the animals despite state rules, which took effect in 1933. California, Hawaii and Massachusetts are the only states that ban the weasel-like creatures. Wildlife officials argued domestic ferrets could be abandoned, get loose, reproduce and threaten California's fragile habitats and indigenous animals. Ferret owners said their pets are less aggressive than dogs and less likely to carry rabies.


Click here to see the story behind the story and the people who made this small victory possible.
An Article From CDFA Legislative Director, Jeanne Carley


There is currently a bill in the California State Senate authored by Senator Quentin Kopp. The topic of Senate Bill 55 (SB55) is wild animals, specifically domestic ferrets. It is currently in the Senate Natural Resources and Wildlife Committee. The last action was the first hearing which failed passage in committee (Ayes 3. Noes 7.) on 4/25/95. Reconsideration was granted and is scheduled for January 9, 1996 at 8:00 a.m in Room 112.


The following senators voted AYE on 4/25/95:

The following senators voted NO on 4/25/95:

The following senators were absent, abstaining, or not voting on 4/25/95:


As you can see above, some of the senators have e-mail addresses. Please show your support and drop these senators a line by clicking on their name. Take a look at our sample letter and use it as a guideline, but it is best to use your own words. Please be polite and pro-ferret, not anti-politician. You may refer to this list of snail mail addresses and phone numbers of all of the state senators. Here is a link to a map if you don't know who your state senator is. You will then be able to pull up the individual senator's profile and see if they have an e-mail address. If you are still unsure, check with your county Registrar of Voters or the front portion of your Pacific Bell directory. The Natural Resources Committee also has its own e-mail address: Comm.Nat.Res@sen.ca.gov


Check out SB55 in its entirety, including status, history, voting, amendments and analysis. Once there, you may also subscribe to any changes or additions to SB55 by providing your e-mail address in the box provided. The state will send the information directly to you.


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