Did you know that the Sierra Club and Audubon Society opposed the legalization of the domesticated ferret at a recent hearing in Sacramento? Their opposition makes criminals of an estimated 250,000 Californians for simply choosing a ferret as a pet, something citizens in 48 other states can do with impunity. Here are excerpts from their 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."
William J. Craven
1414 K Street, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814
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...."
555 Audubon Place
Sacramento, CA 95814
I advise you to write immediately to the presidents of these organizations listed below. If you desire to send a copy to the authors of these letters at their Sacramento offices that's fine, but writing to headquarters ensures that your message will be heard. Also, keep in mind that usually change comes from above!
Tell these organizations that since the ferret is domesticated, it does not merit placement on a prohibited wildlife list. In addition, it is one of the safest pets to the environment, far safer than the dog or cat, so its prohibition makes no sense. Why eliminate the legal option of an animal that has no impact on the environment? In addition, AB 363 mandates that this environmentally safe pet is spayed and neutered, so it is a bill that should be supported not opposed. It may, after all, open a door to much needed spay neuter requirements for other domesticated pets.
We know that this opposition is not in response to any problems with the ferret, but is simply in response to misinformation put forth by our own Department of Fish and Game. Neither the Sierra Club nor Audubon opposed recent bills in Massachusetts or Michigan. Tell them you are offended and outraged by their opposition. Defeat of AB 363 will mean that the people of California will continue to be fined, or 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. As an owner of a domesticated ferret you too have this right.
DFG has spent considerable time and expense digging up opposition and misinforming 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. Your donations are being mis-spent! Please join a national campaign to tell the Sierra Club and Audubon Society to stop turning good Californians into criminals, and to spend your donations wisely or drop you from the donor list. Have your friends, and family write as well. Please write to:
Adam Werbach, President
85 2nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
John Flicker, President
National Audubon Society
New York, NY 10003
Thank you for your support for ferret legalization in California.
Californians for Ferret Legalization
410 Mountain Home Road Woodside, CA 94062