Unfair Fiscal Impact Estimate from LAO on Ferret Legalization

It is hard to imagine how repealing a bad law would cost California money.

ferretmoneyWe would get decreased enforcement cost and increased economic activity from the sale of ferrets and ferret supplies. But just as I had feared the Fiscal Impact Report from the Legislative Analyst's Office doesn't see that.


Local animal control agencies would experience additional costs associated with enforcing laws related to ownership of pet ferrets, such as requirements for vaccinating, spaying, and neutering ferrets. These costs could total a few million dollars annually statewide. Most or all of these costs likely would be funded by the license fee authorized by this measure.

Summary of Fiscal Effects.

This measure would have the following major fiscal effect:

• Likely additional local government costs of a few million dollars annually for animal control enforcement activities, which could be largely or entirely offset by
the license fees authorized by the measure.

You can read the full document here

We went into this, and still believe legalizing ferrets would be an economic plus for California:

70% of the pet ferrets sold in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon are intended for the California market.  Usually when someone buys a ferret, they also purchase supplies.  This sales tax income would go to California if ferrets were available here.

Reduction in enforcement costs.  Fish and Wildlife would have one less thing to worry about, the confiscation of pet ferrets.  Some savings as they wouldn't have to chase after ferret owners anymore.

Increased economic activity for California veterinarians.  Currently many ferret owners are afraid to take their ferrets to a vet.  That fear would end meaning more people would seek veterinary care.