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News Article

5 May is UK National Ferret Day

Popularity of ferrets as household pets growing rapidly

Today is National Ferret Day here in the UK; it provides a timely reminder about the availability of the British Veterinary Association Animal Welfare Foundation’s (BVA AWF) practical guide designed to enable owners to provide the very best of care for their pet ferrets. Produced in association with the Ferret Education & Research Trust (FERT), the ‘Caring for your ferret’ leaflet reflects the growing popularity of these intelligent and curious animals as household pets.

According to Carl Padgett, Chair of the BVA AWF Trustees, the leaflet covers the basics such as housing, feeding, health care and toilet training. It also offers advice on ‘ferret-proofing’ the home and garden, advice on games, and most importantly, breeding and neutering as well as vaccination against canine distemper particularly if owners wish to take their ferret for a walk on a lead and harness.

The growing popularity of ferrets was highlighted in a recent survey which showed that almost half of owners acquired their ferret in the last five years and a significant majority of ferrets are now kept as pets rather than working animals.

Mr Padgett said that a high level of commitment and care is necessary when taking on any pet and that the guide should ensure that even the novice owner has all the information necessary to ensure their ferret’s health and welfare.

National Ferret Day aims to ensure issues such as welfare, care, nutrition and ownership are all highlighted in a positive light and to educate the public to respect these animals. It is an initiative founded by FERT in 2007 to give a focus point for the public and media regarding the welfare and the needs of the domesticated ferret. Although it differs in date to the US National Ferret Day, this was done by design to ensure that the UK event retains its own identity.

Speaking on behalf of the Trustees of FERT Ian Kearns said that one of the organisation's major concerns is that many ferrets are now ending up in rescue centres, because people have not read up on them before taking on one. He urged would-be ferret owners to make sure they understand their housing and dietary needs, and emphasised the need to register with a vet.

Caring for your ferret’ is available to download from the BVA AWF website. Veterinary practices can obtain batches of leaflets for the waiting room by emailing the BVA AWF at

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • U. Allen
  • Date
  • 05 May 2010
  • Source
  • British Veterinary Association
  • Subject(s)
  • Dogs, Cats, and other Companion Animals