California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have provided amnesty for California’s estimated 500,000 pet ferrets while the state conducted environmental impact studies. Those studies would allow the state to make a final determination on whether or not ferrets posed a risk to the state’s environment.
The governor said the bill was too bureaucratic and that the environmental studies should be conducted before ferrets’ legal status was changed.
“I love ferrets,” Schwarzenegger wrote in his veto message to the California State Senate. “I co-starred with a ferret in Kindergarten Cop. However…I am concerned that there has not been proper study to determine whether ferrets are detrimental to the health and safety of California citizens and the environment.”
The often-amended bill would have established a license fee for ferrets that would have funded the environmental studies.
The governor did not offer any funding alternatives in his veto message.
To receive amnesty, ferret owners would need to pay the registration fee and be able to prove their animals were vaccinated against rabies and spayed or neutered.