Posted: April 21, 2009, 4:15 p.m. EDT
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On April 19, 2009, the American Ferret Association, a not-for-profit, all-volunteer organization that promotes ferrets as companion animals, issued a position statement that opposes H.R. 669 in its present form. H.R. 669 is the Nonnative Wildlife Invasion Prevention Act.
The AFA statement notes that restricting genuinely dangerous wildlife is desirable and it recognizes the good intentions of supporters of the bill, but the AFA objects to the wording of H.R. 669, which makes it unclear whether or not ferrets would be included in the list of animals exempted from restriction should the bill become law. The bill provides that animals that are common and clearly domesticated would be exempt from restriction, if the Secretary of the Interior deems them to be common and clearly domesticated.
“The AFA strongly opposes having to rely on such an unnecessary and vague determination — the mechanism for which is not even specified — when such a determination has already been made many times, over a period of many years, throughout the United States and around the world.”
According to the AFA statement, ferrets should be included in the list of exempted animal species because: 1) Ferrets are not wildlife; and 2) Ferrets are well-established, commonly accepted, domesticated companion animals.
Further, the AFA statement notes that the Humane Society of the United States, which supports H.R. 669, has agreed to request that ferrets be added to the list of exempted animals in the bill.
A hearing on H.R. 669 takes place on April 23, 2009, at the House Subcommittee On Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife.