Say what you will about Rudy Giuliani's ever-growing chapbook of incendiary sayings, but America's Mayor might have had his finest (or least compassionate) hour when he squared off against a ferret enthusiast on his weekly radio show during his time in office.
When a caller revealed that he was an advocate taking aim at Giuliani's ferret ban, which went into place in 1999, the mayor excoriated him for "being deranged" and suggested he seek help. Giuliani didn't stop there: "This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness." (Years later, the legendary exchange inspired this animated rendering from Slate.)
The New York City Board of Health upheld the ferret ban on Tuesday, which keeps the city at odds with New York State along with much of the country, where ferrets remain beloved, albeit high-maintenance, pets. (Hawaii and California still maintain statewide bans along with a handful of smaller communities.)
“We heard about the unique skeletal structure of ferrets that allows them to squeeze through very small crevices,” Board of Health member Lynne Richardson explained to the New York Post. The fear of escape, coupled with the improbable rise of feral colonies, was enough to keep the board from overturning the ban.