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Can Ferrets Help Dig California Out of Budget Crisis?

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California is the only state in the country that outlaws ferrets, according to the Sacramento Bee, but with a new administration in the Capitol, "the ferret lobby has a new strategy," according to the newspaper. This time around, ferret backers argue the critters can be seen as furry money generators. "Legalization proponents say those numbers show the state is missing out on revenue from sales of ferrets, which cost more than $100 apiece, and startup food and supplies, often bought when the owner purchases the pet in Nevada or other neighboring states. 'There's the cage, there's the food, there's the litter pans,' said West Coast Ferrets Association member Debby Greatbanks. 'It's a good $500 investment.'"

But a representative from the Humane Society of the United States says that if the pets are legalized, costs associated with "animal shelters and other local animal services" could rise. As for worries that rabid ferret colonies would spring up around the state, Pat Wright, founder of legalizeferrets.org, argues that "decades of domestication have tamed ferrets' predatory instincts." 'Everything bites, but the idea is (that) it is outweighed by companionship,' Wright told the panel in December." Everything bites, indeed. And as long as we're making a list of legalization ideas to help the state budget, let's remember what else has failed to pass: Marijuana (a slippery slope, but some groups argued for taxation), gay marriage (proponents mentioned tourist revenue, associated wedding expenditures), and for now, ferrets.
· Ferret Lovers Keep Pushing to Legalize them as Pets [Sac Bee]