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The sale of ferret kits

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Ratification Date: 24 Jul 2014

Policy

Ferret kits should be vaccinated and not offered for sale younger than ten weeks of age.

  • Ferrets are active and intelligent animals; there is a need for family/social groups to stay together as long as possible to produce more behaviorally normal adult pets, and for opportunities to exercise and interact.
  • Ferret kits are often sold too young, unable to eat solid food. This may result in chronic disease conditions including ill thrift and diarrhoea.
  • Being strict carnivores, ferrets have specific dietary needs, including the frequent feeding of small meals.
  • Ferrets are sensitive to extremes of temperature.
  • It is illegal to sell ferrets in Queensland as it is declared a Class 1 species under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002.
  • It is illegal to keep ferrets in the Northern Territory. http://www.parksand wildlife.nt.gov.au/permits/restricted#.UOVPG

Recommendations

  • Kits should be vaccinated for distemper at eight weeks of age, a minimum of two weeks prior to sale.
  • The minimum age at sale should be ten weeks (estimated by dental examination) to facilitate the eating of a kibbled (or dry food) diet.
  • Kits should undergo veterinary examination at vaccination/before sale.
  • There should be minimum cage size standards and opportunity for exercise and social interaction (at least 1 square metre per ferret).
  • Minimum and maximum temperatures for housing should be adhered to (20 to 24 degrees C).
  • Ferret specific data should be included as an appendix to pet shop Codes of Practice which will underpin state and territory legislation.

References

http://www.ferretcongress.org/USDA/sampleletters.html Accessed online March 1, 2013.

Other relevant policies and position statements

Dogs and cats in pet shops

Vaccination of rabbits and ferrets