Bill de Blasio came into office under the guise of being a progressive man of the people, but it turns out he's just pro-animals. According to The New York Times, de Blasio's administration wants to lift the New York City ban on ferrets enacted by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and upheld by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, even though ferrets have been known to bite people on occasion. But between this, coming out against horse-drawn carriages, and implying that he's in favor of saving subway kittens from oncoming trains, it seems clear where de Blasio's species loyalty lies.
Health department officials said they would approve lifting the ban as long as certain vaccination and spaying requirements are put in place. One requirement would likely be to remove the ferret's anal glands, which release an awful smell – that particular requirement doesn't seem animal-friendly, but compromises must be made with the human faction. The Board of Health will consider the proposal this summer, weighing the pros (ferrets don't bite more than similar pets) and cons (babies are the most at risk of being hurt) of ferret liberation.
Despite ferret ownership being legal in New York State, the city has been anti-ferret since 1990. Mayor David Dinkins was against them, as was Giuliani, who famously called a pro-ferret activists "deranged" 15 years ago, said he didn't mind de Blasio lifting the ban “if he’s got the right scientific backup for it.” He added: “I don’t know that he does ... I don’t know that he doesn’t.” The ban was upheld by a court during Bloomberg's administration.
De Blasio, however, is a man of the mammals. When it came to protecting the jobs of overpriced horse carriage rides, he fought for the horses. And when it came to protecting subway kittens from being killed by trains taking humans to important places, he fought for the kittens. Technically, he didn't respond to an inquiry on his kitten stance, but he later painted his opponent Joe Lhota as a heartless animal killer, so the pro-animal sentiment was clearly there. Ferrets may be the next four-legged creature to enjoy that favoritism.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.