Why are Hedgehogs Illegal in California?
Hedgehogs and ferrets are only two exotic animals which are being domesticated as pets. Although some places allow their citizens to own them, there are still some states that don’t and one of them is the state of California although there are still those who sell them in the ‘black market’.
The hedgehog or more specifically the African Pygmy hedgehog which is bred and commonly sold at pet shops is illegal in the entire state of California. Not just California but in other US states such as Georgia, Hawaii, Nebraska, New York City, Virginia and Utah. While in the states of Arizona, Maine, Wyoming, Wisconsin, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, a permit is required to own a hedgehog.
California banned the owning of hedgehogs because of they have a law that makes all animals not listed as ‘legal’ under State law as ‘illegal’ by default not until the Department of Fish and Game of California is willing to consider them as legal in status. Until then, they will be confiscated and banned as pets.
Other reasons for banning may include the following:
The state of California is well-known for being a closed country to most exotic pets. This law is concrete and has no chances of changing.
Hedgehogs are termed as ‘detrimental animals’. As they are not native wild animals, they pose as a threat to the natural existing ecosystem. They also threaten the agricultural interests of the state.
There is also the issue of public health and safety as some hedgehogs can become carriers of ‘foot and mouth disease’ which is a highly contagious disease among cloven-hooved animals.
In conclusion, the legality of owning hedgehogs in California depends on their State law. But as of today, hedgehogs are banned in the entire state of California.