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Baby Ferrets Need Your Help Again!!!

August 5, 2006

In mid-2005 APHIS/USDA put out a request for public input regarding the amendment of the Animal Welfare Act to include ferret-specific regulations to govern the handling, care, treatment, and transportation of domestic ferrets. Thousands of ferret owners, veterinarians, ferret shelters, and breeders across the United States responded to this request in support of such regulations. Your voices were heard loud and clear that ferret-specific regulations are long overdue and needed immediately.

In spite of the overwhelming response in support of such regulations, the USDA is proposing in lieu of adopting ferret-specific regulations that they simply lump domestic ferrets into the same regulations that govern all warm blooded mammals, including, guinea pigs, elephants, and tigers, and tacking on an 8-week limit for shipping of said mammals.

There is no way to determine if a ferret kit has reached 8 weeks of age without dental eruption requirements. The above proposal from the USDA will not provide for this nor will it provide adequate protection to the domestic ferret as specifically outlined in AFA's September 2005 formal response (.pdf 129kb). In essence, we will continue to see ferret kits in pets stores who have been shipped far earlier than they should, unable to eat the hard kibble provided them, and suffering from the lack of special care they so require with regard to handling, care, treatment, and transportation.

We ask that you please let your voice be heard once again that this proposal is totally unacceptable to the thousands of ferret enthusiasts across the U.S., and that we will accept nothing less than the ferret-specific regulations that have been called for.

Please help save the baby ferrets once again by contacting the supervisor of this project, Dr. Chester Gipson of APHIS/USDA via email or phone as follows:

(301) 734-4980
chester.a.gipson@aphis.usda.gov

A meeting is scheduled for mid-August to make a decision on this proposal. Please call or email TODAY and politely voice your concerns that this proposal is unacceptable.

AFA's Formal Response to APHIS/USDA. (.pdf 44kb)
Form Letter to reference when calling/emailing APHIS: .pdf format or .txt format.

The baby ferrets are counting on us again - please, don't let them down. Thank you again!