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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XIX AGRICULTURE AND CONSERVATION
  • CHAPTER 131 INLAND FISHERIES AND GAME AND OTHER NATURAL RESOURCES
  • Section 77 Ferrets; possession and use

Section 77. A person may possess a ferret (mustela furo or mustela putorium furo) for the following purposes:—

(1) As a household pet; provided, however, that such pet has been at the time of purchase neutered or spayed and has received inoculation against distemper and rabies or other inoculations that the director may require; and provided, further, that evidence of neutering, spaying and inoculation is kept available for inspection by the director.

(2) For breeding; provided, however, that no person shall possess a ferret for breeding purposes without obtaining a license from the director, which shall be renewed every year at a fee to be determined by the secretary of administration and finance which shall not be less than one thousand dollars. Breeders licensed under this section shall be allowed to offer for either wholesale or retail sale ferrets that are the offspring of animals propagated or maintained by the breeder; provided, however, that such ferrets offered for wholesale and retail sale are neutered or spayed and have received inoculations against distemper and rabies or other inoculations that the director may require, and evidence of such neutering, spaying and inoculation is kept available by the seller for inspection by said director.

(3) As required for research by a recognized research institution. Such research institutions shall be allowed to possess ferrets for breeding and research purposes and shall not be subject to the provisions of subparagraph (2); provided, however, that the offspring of such research breeding shall not be offered for sale or trade.

(4) For education by a recognized educational institution; provided, however, that such ferret at the time of purchase has been neutered or spayed and has received inoculation against distemper and rabies or other inoculations that the director may require; and provided, further, that evidence of neutering, spaying and inoculation is kept available for inspection by the director.

It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt for, catch, kill or cause or permit the hunting of any vertebrate animal with or through the use of a ferret. The fact that a person shall have a ferret in his possession or under his control in any place where birds or mammals may be found shall render such person liable to the penalties prescribed under this section. It shall be unlawful for any person to liberate any ferret, or allow any ferret to escape into the wild. Ferrets shall not be sold in a pet shop as defined in section one of chapter one hundred and twenty-nine unless such ferrets offered for wholesale or retail sale are neutered or spayed and have received inoculations against distemper and rabies or other inoculations that the director may require, and evidence of such neutering, spaying and inoculation is kept available by the seller for inspection by said director.

The director may promulgate regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. Said regulations shall include provisions requiring the purchaser of a ferret to insure that the required treatment and inoculations specified in this section are received by the ferret if as a result of domestication of the ferret such procedures and inoculations are impractical and not accomplished before sale. Said regulations shall require the seller of such ferrets to maintain records which document the purchaser and the date of purchase and such records shall be kept available for inspection by the director.