Ferret and Other Mustelinae Keeper Registration Guidance and Documents

Date published: 15 July 2021

Ferret and other mustelinae keepers can join a register to share information about their animals with the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA). DAERA will use the information on the register to contact you with information and guidance about disease prevention if there is an outbreak of disease affecting your animals.


It will also help DAERA understand how many ferrets and other kept mustelinae there are in Northern Ireland, and where they are.

Who should sign up

You can sign up if you keep one or more mustelinae, including:

  • ferrets
  • mink
  • polecats
  • stoats
  • weasels
  • hybrids of these animals

You are a keeper if you are responsible for the day-to-day care of the animals. This includes animals kept as pets.

You do not have to join the register by law at the moment. It is likely to become compulsory in the future if you keep more than a certain number of ferrets or other mustelinae. The number has not been decided yet.

DAERA encourages you to register even if you do not have to by law.

If you join the voluntary register, DAERA will include your details on the compulsory register when it is created. You will not need to re-register.

Why we have a register

Ferrets, mink and other members of the mustelinae family are particularly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They can infect members of their own species and there is evidence that mink can pass the infection back to humans.

If there is a confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 in ferrets, you may be contacted with information and advice about disease prevention measures.

The movement of animals infected with SARS-CoV-2 may be restricted in line with The Zoonoses Order (Northern Ireland) 1991 as amended.

How to sign up

Complete the “Ferret / Mustelinae Keeper Registration Form” and email it to daeradirect.ballymena@daera-ni.gov.uk, or post it to:

DAERA Ferret / Mustelinae Registration Section

Academy House

121a Broughshane Street

Town Parks


BT43 6HY

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