Dr. Valarie Tynes, a veterinarian with the AVMA, said breeders who spay and neuter ferrets before selling them could allay states' concerns that the animals could escape and procreate.
"I think there have been concerns by some that if ferrets got loose, they might thrive in the wild in the United States and possibly be damaging to native populations," she said. "I think it's interesting, as long as they've been pets, I've never heard of any place that's happened."
California's 80-year-old ban can be changed by commission vote or legislation, and there have been six attempts at a bill since 1994. A 2004 proposal came closest when it reached the desk of the governor — Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appeared with a ferret in "Kindergarten Cop." He vetoed it.
Wright is looking for another lawmaker willing to sponsor a new round of legislation, but conceded that task alone was difficult. With legislators facing issues like the budget, gun control and health care, he noted, anyone who goes to bat for ferrets will probably be mocked.