Support

For technical/website support please call 01466 794323.

For issues regarding the health and welfare of your ferret (or other Mustelinae) please contact your private vet.
For issues regarding your own health and welfare, please contact the appropriate local health services.

Background to Ferret (and other Mustelinae) Register

In Autumn 2020, events in Denmark confirmed that new variants of SARS-COV-2 - the virus that causes COVID-19 - can arise in mink and can infect humans.

Whilst mink farming is banned in the UK, recent research has demonstrated that ferrets are also susceptible to the virus and new variants can arise as the infection is transmitted between members of their own species.

It is important to note that human to human transmission remains the most significant route of infection.

The movement of animals infected with SARS-CoV-2 may be restricted in line with The Zoonoses Order (1989)

Register of ferrets and other captive Mustelinae

This voluntary register allows keepers of ferrets and other Mustelinae (including: polecats, stoats, mink, or hybrids of these animals) to submit details of their animals. Government will use this information to determine the size and location of the kept ferret population. Those who join the Register will receive updates and guidance from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and, in the event of a suspected/confirmed case of COVID-19 associated with kept Mustelinae, will be contacted by APHA and provided with information and guidance on disease prevention measures.

This register is for those who keep ferrets and other Mustelinae in Scotland.

If you are a Keeper in England please register or call 0800 6341 112.
If you are a Keeper in Wales please register or call 0800 6341 112.

Plans for compulsory registration

The GB administrations intend to make the GB Ferret Register compulsory in the near future. Keepers who own more than a threshold number of Mustelinae will be legally required to join the register if it becomes compulsory. This will help protect human health if variants of SARS-CoV-2 of public health concern emerge, and will provide ferret keepers with the guidance they need to protect their own health and the health of their animals. It is important to note that the data of those who have already registered on the system will be automatically transferred onto any new compulsory system, regardless of whether they meet the threshold number. However, for those under the threshold, registration will remain voluntary, and keepers can erase their data on request.

Advice for ferret keepers:

Legislation has now come into force in Scotland, England and Wales to make SARS-CoV-2 reportable in all mammals (except man), and so positive test results must be reported by your vet, or private laboratory, to the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA).

COVID-19 is driven by human to human transmission, and it is rare for an animal to contract coronavirus. Despite this, taking preventive measures to address the potential for transmission from ferrets (and other captive Mustelinae) to humans is important. Should you have any concerns regarding the health of your animals, whether you keep them commercially or as pets, you should contact your private vet.

Additional information:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for animal owners - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Preventative Measures regarding SARS-CoV-2 and Ferrets in the UK

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