New York City mayor Bill de Blasio may be lifting a 15-year ban on ferrets. The ban, which was implemented by then-mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1999, was a source of controversy for fans of the small mammal. Giuliani and his administration said that ferrets were likely to carry rabies and were known to attack young children, but ferret advocates maintained that the animal was no more dangerous than other small mammals.
In an internal memo, city health officials stated that “evidence shows ferrets do not bite more frequently or severely than other pets the same size.” Ultimately, the health department recommends lifting the ban, but says that spaying and vaccination requirements should be put in place. According to NYCFerrets.com, a ferret advocacy site, ferret ownership remains illegal in New York but may be lifted by the end of 2014.