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It’s National Ferret Day

Author: Diane Parker

I am reliably informed that 2nd April is National Ferret Day. This is the 2nd April, not the first of April, so I assume it is genuine, and not a joke.

And what can a law firm have to do with ferrets, I hear you cry?

Well, you’d be surprised:

  • Are you a landlord or a tenant? What do those policies say about pet keeping? Ferrets can do a lot of damage if let loose indoors including chewing, scratching and fouling. If you’re a landlord you may have legitimate grounds for eviction of a ferret-keeping tenant, provided your tenancy agreement bans pet keeping (and not just dogs)  and if you’re a ferret-owning tenant, check that pets are allowed in the property and get written permission if they’re not;
  • Purchasing that property in the first place? Some properties have restrictive covenants in place. These don’t normally prevent pet-owning but is a ferret a pet? Or could it be classified some other way – if you have more than one and breed or race perhaps your ferret ownership could be deemed as running a business, which is a frequent exclusion for residential properties;
  • Ferrets bite! And if you drop them down your trouser leg, as seemed to be quite a trend in my childhood, then any bite could be very painful and might even affect your future procreation abilities! Obviously a deliberately placed ferret would be unlikely to attract any liability to the owner, but if the ferret escaped and bit someone or caused a road traffic accident by running into the road, then the owner might be liable;
  • Routinely dropping ferrets down trouser legs might amount to animal cruelty and an RSPCA prosecution – which could lead to criminal sanctions and a criminal record might be on the cards.

So, if you’re thinking of owning a ferret or any other unusual animal, spare a thought for the legal ramifications of such ownership and if in doubt seek legal advice.

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