To Mish and Hal:
Don't be duped by half-truths pasted together to justify a policy that
actively seeks to make ferret ownership illegal.
Indeed, "truthful" is hardly the word I would use to describe the HSUS
statement, with its inaccuracies about rabies and "nocturnal habits" and
its duplicitous dancing around the question whether and to what extent it
will oppose ferret ownership in the future. You will also note that Irwin
completely ignored the fundamental question of whether Rachel Lamb's
comments on CBS were in accord with HSUS policy (effectively giving her an
endorsement); the misrepresentations Rachel made about the danger escaped
ferrets pose to the "ecology"; and the hypocrisy of implying that ferret
bites pose a greater danger to the community than dog bites.
I agree it is not strictly untrue that ferrets take a "special kind of
person": what makes this part of the HSUS position so awful is the fact
that it assumes or implies that "anyone" could take care of a dog or cat or
any other companion animal--but members of the general public should not
have the right to decide whether to have a ferret as a pet.
Make no mistake, the language in the Irwin letter stating HSUS "will
continue to lend our support or opposition to legislative initiatives that
may include language pertaining to the keeping of ferrets as pets" means
that they WILL intervene to restrict, hamper, obstruct, and if possible
delegalize ferret ownership "if anyone asks their opinion"--anyone, for
example, such as California Fish & Game. The disclaimer that HSUS is not
anti-ferret is a bald lie.
If the HSUS position were consistent, they would simply oppose sale of any
pets in pet stores, and leave it at that, since it is primarily at pet stores
that "throwaway pets" of any species are acquired, as impulse purchases. In
reality, the ferret community has a very good record of taking care of
abandoned fuzzies, whereas god knows how many tens of millions of dogs and
cats are being euthanized each year--and mostly in HSUS charnel houses.
To Danny: Good for you for firing off your letter. Your points were right
>The other thing I though really added fuel to the fire was their
"government knows what's best for me" attitude by supporting FFZs.<
To Judi: More power to you. HSUS doesn't deserve a dime from anyone that
values the lives of ferrets--how many more are going to be euthanized this
year in California because they helped defeat the legalization bill? My
interviews with dozens of California animal control officers at the 1994
HSUS animal care expo in San Diego indicated that the great majority had
never heard of the "ship them out of state" option, and assumed they had
no choice but to put them down.
[Posted in FML issue 1234]