Pursuant to Elections Code Section 9005, we have reviewed the proposed statutory initiative related to domestic ferrets (A.G. File No. 21-0044).
California law identifies ferrets as wild animals that are restricted because “such animals are undesirable and a menace to native wildlife, the agricultural interests of the state, or to the public health or safety.” Current law and regulations make it illegal to own ferrets as pets without a state permit.
This measure would add the following to California law: “The State of California hereby classifies and recognizes the domestic ferret (Mutela putorius furo) as a domestic animal.” The measure does not specify a particular section of state law to which this would be added.
Given the way the measure is written, it would not directly legalize the ownership of ferrets. The California Fish and Game Commission and potentially the state Legislature would have to take additional steps to change existing state regulations and law in order to make ownership of ferrets legal in California. Accordingly, the measure likely would not have immediate or significant fiscal effects on the state or local governments.
Summary of Fiscal Effects. We estimate that this measure could have the following major fiscal effect on the state and local governments: