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Information Resources on the Care and Welfare of Ferrets

AWIC Resource Series No. 38

December 2006

Updates Information Resources on Ferrets, July 2002







Anatomy | Anesthesia / Analgesia | Animal Models | Auditory / Hearing | Biology | Blackfooted Ferrets | Care / Housing | Circulatory / Cardiovascular | Dental | Digestive System | Diseases | Emesis | Enrichment | Feeding / Nutrition / Metabolism | Neoplasia / Tumors | Neurological/Nervous System | Parasites | Reproductive | Research | Veterinary | Viruses


Selected Web Sites

blackfooted ferret

Compiled by:

Richard L. Crawford, D.V.M.

Kristina M. Adams, M.S.

Animal Welfare Information Center

National Agricultural Library

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Published by:

U. S. Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

National Agricultural Library

Animal Welfare Information Center

Beltsville, Maryland 20705

Contact us:

Web site:

Published in cooperation with the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

Web Policies and Important Links




This publication updates Information Resources on Ferrets, 1991-2002 and involves a search multiple databases for the time period 20032006. The publication is broken into 26 different subject groups for easier searching and includes items for domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) and black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes). Some of the references may be listed in more than one group depending on the topics addressed in the article. Selected Web sites are included in a separate chapter.

Domestic ferrets are commonly kept as pets in the United States and are often exhibited in zoos for public viewing. Ferrets are also used in many broad areas of research, including studies of cardiovascular disease, nutrition, respiratory diseases (such as SARS and human influenza), airway physiology, and gastrointestinal disease (such as peptic ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori). Ferrets share many anatomical, metabolic and physiologic features with humans which has promoted their use as an animal model.

Ferrets as animals in research, teaching, testing, and exhibition are covered by the US Federal Animal Welfare Act. Standards for their housing and care are provided in Subpart F of the Animal Welfare Regulations -- Specifications for the Humane Handling, Care, Treatment, and Transportation of Warm-blooded Animals Other Than Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Nonhuman Primates, and Marine Mammals.

Black-footed ferrets are currently listed as endangered. In 1985, only 18 individual animals were known to exist in the wild. Captive breeding and reintroduction programs have led to the stabilization of black-footed ferret numbers, now estimated as more than 300 individuals in the wild. This resource contains a chapter exclusively devoted to black-footed ferret care and research. For additional information on the status of black-footed ferret populations and ongoing research, visit the US Fish and Wildlife Species Profile: Black-footed ferret.

Each citation in the bibliography contains descriptor terms, an abstract when available, and the NAL call number if the particular source is available at the National Agricultural Library (NAL). Information on how to request materials that are included in the collection of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) may be found at:

Readers are cautioned as to the dynamic nature of the internet and the fact that Web addresses and content are subject to change. All sites are current as of December 2006.


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March 22, 2007