City considers lifting ban on ferrets as pets

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Ferrets haven’t called New York City home in years.  But that could change.

The de Blasio administration is considering a petition to repeal a ban on keeping ferrets as pets.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani pushed for that policy in 1999.  He attacked a ferret advocate on a call-in radio show at the time saying, “This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness.”

The ban continued through the Bloomberg administration.

Mayor de Blasio, who has called for a ban on carriage horses because he says they don’t belong on city streets, is perhaps looking out for ferrets, too.


(Photo: Getty Images)

Pet expert and owner of the pet store Parrots of the World in Long Island, Marc Morrone, said a ferret makes an excellent city pet.

“The biggest ferret weighs four pounds and they just eat dry ferret food. Landlords have no issue with them. They can’t scratch like a cat, and can’t chew on the furniture like a dog,” said Morrone, who has been selling them for three decades.

The Department of Health released the following statement:  “The Board of Health received a petition asking it to amend the Health Code to allow the keeping of ferrets in New York City. We are required to respond within 60 days from receipt of petition. Through the rulemaking process, the Department is now asking the Board to consider an amendment of the Health Code.  There will be a public hearing and comment period which the Board will consider before it votes on whether to legalize ferrets or not.”

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