Document:California Press Release 27 October 1998 Libertarian Candidates Rate High on Ferret Freedom

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Office of the Executive Director
11956 Riverside Dr., #206
Valley Village, CA 91607-3772
For immediate release: October 27, 1998
For additional information:
Juan Ros, Executive Director
Phone: (818) 506-0200
Fax: (818) 506-0212

Libertarian candidates rate high on ferret freedom survey

LOS ANGELES - Which political party supports ferret rights 100%? If you answered the Libertarian Party, you would have "ferreted" out the correct answer.

Libertarian Party candidates for state legislature are universally in favor of ferret legalization and would support legislation to make ferret ownership in California legal, according to the results of a survey released by Ferrets Anonymous, a 6,000-member San Diego-based grassroots organization committed to the legalization of the domesticated ferret in California.

"Libertarians have once again proven to be 100% in favor of individual liberty," announced Libertarian state chairman Mark Hinkle. "Democrats and Republicans, meanwhile, have once again proven to be 100% weasels when it comes to personal freedoms."

In the survey, all 35 Libertarian candidates who responded supported the legalization of ferrets in California, and 33 pledged to sponsor a bill in the legislature to legalize ferret ownership if elected to office. Additionally, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Steve Kubby pledged his support for ferret ownership legalization.

In contrast, only 20 Republicans and 9 Democrats pledged to sponsor ferret legislation if elected.

Existing law prohibits the importation, transportation, or possession of live animals enumerated in specified provisions of the California Fish and Game Code, including domesticated ferrets. Ferret ownership is legal in Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona.

In December, 1996, the American Veterinary Association estimated that there were 791,000 pet ferrets owned in the United States.

AB 363, introduced in Assembly in February, 1997, would have legalized domesticated ferret ownership in California. The bill stalled in committee.

Does this mean that Libertarians would push ferret legalization to the forefront of their agenda if elected to office? "Of course not," Hinkle responded. "We recognize that ferret legalization isn't an issue at the top of voters' minds.

"But the Libertarian Party believes that individuals have the right to own whatever property they choose as long as they are not harming another individual. Libertarians will fight just as hard for an individual's right to own a ferret, a gun, a casino, or a private school," stressed Hinkle.

"Property rights are the foundation of a free society. Legalization of ferret ownership would be a small step in the right direction," noted Hinkle.

"It's time for the government to stop badgering ferret owners once and for all."