We’re talking about responsible vs irresponsible breeders in this week’s blog. With so many ferret breeders out there, it is crucial to find one that acts responsibly and in the best interests of the animals they are breeding.
This is a very difficult topic to cover. At BFB we draw our own line in the sand about breeders and that’s what we’re going to share.
There are some breeders who breed ferrets as a main form of income. Most of these breeders in the UK are fantastic and it’s clear to see their love and care for the ferrets they breed.
However, as we wrote in last week’s blog, there are already so many ferrets in rescue centres that we believe we should be trying to find homes for those before breeding more.
We’ve recently worked with a man in America to send some ferrets for breeding over there. Hypocrasy? No. We did that for a reason.
There’s a company in America called Marshall’s Ferrets and, while I don’t have first hand experience of the ferrets they breed, I have heard that their ferrets aren’t always the most healthy. They often neuter their ferrets very early which can lead to a lot of health issues.
The man we worked with made it very clear that he isn’t associated with Marshall’s and wants to help the ferret population of the USA to be healthier. That is always welcome news to hear. He’s hoping to inject fresh genes into the ferret gene pool of America to really help the ferret population. That’s why we helped with that cause.
When it comes to backyard breeders, there are even more issues. As of now you don’t need a licence to breed ferrets and the government’s National Ferret Register is voluntary (and is really only secondarily a register of ferret owners – its primary purpose is for tracking mutated coronavirus outbreaks in the mustelid population).
Backyard breeders literally have a couple of ferrets which they breed and sell on the kits. Some of them breed successfully and make sure the ferret parents are healthy, and that the kits are socialised, loved, well-fed and handled from an early age. However, they might not be vaccinated, neutered or microchipped.
These are all costs you’ll have to factor in on top of buying the ferret and this can lead to all kinds of problems for new owners.
Then there are the immoral (and sometimes amoral) backyard breeders who just don’t care about the welfare of the animals they keep. They don’t want to spend the money or time neutering their ferrets. They’ll breed with any jill and hob and sell their kits to anyone. Once these ferrets start to find the world around them with their teeth, they become less attractive to their new owners. It takes time, patience and knowledge to socialise a ferret out of biting anything and everything.
And we’re back round to the huge amount of homeless ferrets in rescue centres.
Still keen to buy from a breeder? All we ask is that you please do your homework and find out what you need to know and ask about that breeder and of that breeder.
Better still, contact a rescue centre and adopt!