Date of this Version
Proceedings 18th Vertebrate Pest Conference, ed. R.O. Baker & A.C. Crabb. Published at University of California, Davis, 1998.
The interest in possessing ferrets as pets has given rise to controversy between the "rights" of the individual to own the pet of their choice and the concerns for protection of wildlife in California. An overview of the legislative history in California illustrates the state's attempts at protecting native wildlife species from exotic wild birds and animals. Concerns as to the potential threats associated with the legalization of ferrets in California are warranted in light of the wildlife damage resulting from the deliberate introduction of ferrets in New Zealand and the non-native red fox in California. A framework to assess risks involved with introducing non-native species that may impact native wildlife is needed.