How The Ferret Ban Started
NYC DOH Health Code 161.01 prohibiting ferrets

 

Note - matter in brackets [ ] to be deleted; matter bolded is new

 

RESOLVED, that section 161.01 of the New York City Health Code, as last amended by and sixty-five, be and the same hereby is amended, to be printed together with explanatory notes, to read as follows:

§161.01 Wild animals prohibited.

(a) No person shall sell or give to another person, possess, harbor or keep [an animal of a species which is wild, ferocious, fierce, dangerous or naturally inclined to do harm in any place] wild animals identified in subsection (b) of this section or in regulations promulgated by the Commissioner pursuant to subsection (e) of this section other than in:

(1) A zoological park or aquarium operated by the Department of Parks, by the Wildlife Conservation [New York Zoological] Society, or by the Staten Island Zoological Society; or[,]

(2) A laboratory operated pursuant to §504 of the Public Health Law; or[,]

(3) A circus [, sideshow, or other place of public exhibition or amusement, or an educational or scientific institution, or an establishment of a commercial dealer in animals, which] or native wildlife rehabilitator licensed by federal or state agencies; or

(4) A place which has received the approval of the Department to exhibit or use such animals and which has protective devices which are adequate to prevent such animal from escaping or injuring the public. The Department may impose reasonable conditions and time limits on the granting of such approval.

(b) [An animal of a species specified in subsection (a) of this section shall not be sold to or given to any person or institution except those set forth in subdivisions (1), (2) or (3) of subsection (a) of this section.

(c) A venomous snake shall not be sold to, given to or kept by any person except an educational or scientific institution, a zoological park or aquarium operated by the Department of Parks, by the New York Zoological Society, or by the Staten Island Zoological Society, a snake farm engaged in the preparation of antivenom or an importer of animals.] For the purposes of this Code, wild animals are deemed to be any animals which are naturally inclined to do harm and capable of inflicting harm upon human beings and are hereby prohibited pursuant to subsection (a) Such animals shall include: (i) any animals specified by the Commissioner in regulations promulgated pursuant to this section: (ii) any native or exotic wildlife whose possession or sale is prohibited because they are designated as protected or endangered pursuant to any federal, state or local law regulation or rule; and (iii) any of the following animals:

 

(1) All dogs other than domesticated dogs (Canis familiaris), including: but not limited to: wolf, fox ,coyote, hyaena, dingo, jackal, dhole, fennec, raccoon dog, zorro, bush dog, aardwolf, cape hunting dog and any hybrid offspring of a wild dog and domesticated dog.

(2) All cats other than domesticated cats (Felis catus) including but not limited to lion, tiger, Ieopard, ocelot, jaguar, puma, panther, mountain lion, cheetah, wild cat, cougar, bobcat, Iynx, serval, caracal, jaguarundi, margay and any hybrid offspring of a wild cat and domesticated cat.

(3) All bears including, polar. grizzly, brown and black bear.

(4) All fur bearing mammals of the family Mustelidae including, but not limited to, weasel, marten, mink, badger,ermine, skunk, otter, polecat, zorille, wolverine, stoat and ferret.

(5) All Procyonidae: All raccoon (eastern, desert. ring-tailed cat), kinkajou, cacomistle, cat-bear, panda and coatimundi.

(6) All carnivorous mammals of the family Viverridae, including but not limited to, civet, mongoose, genet, binturong, fossa, linsang and suricate.

(7) All bats (Chiroptera).

(8) All non-human primates including but not limited to monkey, ape chimpanzee, gorilla and lemur.

(9) All squirrels (Sciuridae).

(10) Reptiles (Reptilia). All Helodermatidae (gila monster and Mexican beaded lizard); all front-fanged venomous snakes, even if devenomized, including, but not limited to, all Viperidae (viper, pit viper), all Elapidae (cobra, mamba, krait, coral snake), all Atractaspididae (African burrowing asp), all Hydrophidae (sea snake), all Laticaudidae (sea krait); all venomous, mid-or rear-fanged Duvernoy-glanded members of the family Colubridae, even if devenomized; any member, or hybrid offspring of the family Boidae, including, but not limited to, the common or green anaconda and yellow anaconda; any member of the family Pythonidae including but not limited to the African rock python, Indian or Burmese python, Amethystine or scrub python; any member of the family Varanidae, including the white throated monitor, Bosc's or African savannah monitor, Komodo monitor or dragon, Nile monitor, crocodile monitor, water monitor, Bornean earless monitor; any member of the family Iguanidae, including the green or common iguana; any member of the family Teiidae, including but not limited to the golden, common, or black and white tegu; all members of the family Chelydridae, including snapping turtle and alligator snapping turtle; and all members of the order Crocodylia, including, but not limited to alligator, caiman and crocodile.

(11) Birds and Fowl (Aves): All predatory or large birds, including, but not limited to eagle, hawk, falcon, owl, vulture, condor, emu, rhea and ostrich; roosters geese, ducks and turkeys prohibited or otherwise regulated pursuant to §161.19 of this Code, the Agriculture and Markets Law or applicable federal law.

(12) All venomous insects, including, but not limited to, bee, hornet and wasp.

(13) Arachnida and Chilopoda: All venomous spiders, including, but not limited to, tarantula, black widow and solifugid; scorpion; all venomous arthropods including, but not limited to, centipede.

(14) All large rodents (Rodentia), including, but not limited to, gopher, muskrat, paca, woodchuck, marmot, beaver, prairie dog, capybara, sewellel, viscacha, porcupine and hutia.

(15) All even-toed ungulates (Artiodactyla) including but not limited to. deer, antelope, sheep, giraffe and hippopotamus.

(16) All odd-toed ungulates (Perissodactyla) other than domesticated horses (Equus caballus), including. but not limited to, zebra, rhinoceros and tapir.

(17) All marsupials, including, but not limited to Tasmanian devil, dasyure, bandicoot, kangaroo, wallaby, opossum, wombat, koala bear, cuscus, numbat and pigmy, sugar and greater glider.

(18) Sea mammals (Cetacea, Pinnipedia and Sirenia), including, but not limited to, dolphin, whale, seal, sea lion and walrus.

(19) All elephants (Proboscides).

(20) All hyrax (Hyracoidea).

(21) All pangolin (Pholidota).

(22) All sloth and armadillo (Edentata).

(23) Insectivorous mammals (Insectivora): All aardvark (Tubulidentata), anteater, shrew, otter shrew, gymnure desman tenrec mole and hedge hog.

(24) Gliding lemur (Dermoptera).

(c) In addltion to domesticated dogs and cats, an animal may be kept, possessed, harbored or sold in the City of New York provided that possession of the animal is not otherwise prohibited by law, including federal state and local laws regulating domestic animals and livestock or protecting wildlife and endangered species. Such animals include, but are not limited to, gerbil, hamster (Mesocricetus auratus), guinea pig, domesticated rabbit and fowl or small birds such as parakeet, parrot canary and finch.

(d) An animal whose possession is prohibited pursuant to this section may be seized by any authorized employee of ficer or agent of the Department or of any other agency of the City of New York, and the Commissioner shall provide for such animal's appropriate disposition.

(1) An order issued by the Commissioner pursuant to this section shall contain a notice that the owner of such animal may, within three business days of receipt of the order, request an opportunity to be heard with respect to whether the animal is a prohibited animal and its appropriate disposition. The Commissioner shall provide such an opportunity to be heard as soon as practicable, but no later than 15 days after receipt of such request.

(2) With the written consent of the Department, an owner of any animal whose possession is prohibited pursuant to this section may remove such animal to another jurisdiction where its possession is not prohibited pursuant to any local or other law.

(e) The Commissioner may promulgate such regulations as may be necessary to add to the list in subsection (b) any animal which the Commissioner determines is naturally inclined to do harm and capable of inflicting bodily harm upon human beings.

(f) If any provision of this section is adjudged invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall not affect or impair the validity of the remainder of this section.

 

Notes:

Section 161.01 was amended by resolution adopted on June 29, 1999 to clarify which animals are naturally inclined to do harm and capable of inflicting injury on human beings and should therefore be considered wild and to continue to prohibit their sale or possession with specified exceptions. Although the Department for many years has maintained lists of prohibited wild animals, the lists have not been codified in the Health Code or promulgated as regulations by the Commissioner. The identification of animals prohibited pursuant to this section incorporates the definition of "wild animal" contained in section 370 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, as "animals capable of inflicting harm upon human beings," as well as their prior characterization in section 161.01 (a) of the Health Code as "naturally inclined to do harm." Also prohibited is possession and sale of any animals whose possession or sale is prohibited or regulated by federal, state or local law as a "protected" or "endangered" wildlife species. The section was further amended to authorize the Commissioner to add to the list of prohibited animals through regulations promulgated in accordance with the Citywide Administrative Procedure Act when necessary; to authorize employees, officers and agents of the Department and other City agencies to seize prohibited animals; to authorize the Commissioner to make a determination as to whether a particular animal is a prohibited animal and to order its appropriate disposition, allowing the owner an opportunity to be heard before a final determination is made by the Commissioner, and allowing the owner the alternative of arranging removal of the animal from the City to another jurisdiction where it may be lawfully possessed.

Resolved, this resolution shall take effect immediately in accordance with Section 1043 of the New York City Charter.

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