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NFWS Mission Statement
  1. To promote the well-being of ferrets through articles written and published by the NFWS, veterinarians and ferret specialists world wide
  2. Offer/provide advice on a variety of ferret subjects from common illnesses, nutrition, sanitation, interaction, ferret safety and the advisability of breeding.
  3. Promote the on-going liaison with veterinarians and all medical organisations and agents associated within the 'ferret world' with the aim of raising the general awareness of ferret health and ferret needs.
  4. Advise and educate ferret owners, clubs etc., on their basic responsibilities towards ferrets on such diverse subjects as when considering breeding ferrets and when working ferrets in vermin control. The list is large!
  5. To promote confidence in ferret owners to approach the NFWS and/or veterinarians to seek advice when their ferret's health and behaviour causes concern.

What is the NFWS

The National Ferret Welfare Society (NFWS) was formed in 1986 from the remnants of an earlier society and attempts to bring together those interested in improving the lives of ferrets, whether workers or pets, from all parts of the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.

The main objectives are to:-


  • Promote the general well-being of the ferret.
  • Offer advice on housing, feeding, ailments and general husbandry.
  • Stimulate local veterinary practices and research organisations to consider the needs of the ferret.
  • Promote their correct and most effective use in vermin control.
  • Promote the image of the ferreter.

The NFWS is run by an elected committee and has numerous Area Co-ordinators. All are recruited from the membership to help you with your problems. There are also many other ferret organisations in the UK, some are affiliated to the NFWS, and others are independent. A list of Affiliated Clubs can be found here.

The aim of the National Ferret Welfare Society is to educate the younger member, and the not so young, that ferrets, as other animals, respond to kindness and will work their hearts out for a kind owner. There is no place today for the horrendous practice of sewing up a ferret's lips before work (known as coping) or the use of metal muzzles. Some owners still think a ferret should be starved before work and other insist that gloves should be worn to handle them.

You can help the NFWS to dispel the image of the hedgerow poacher, for years the ferreter's unfortunate badge of reference, and educate those who insist, "there's nowt you can teach me!"

The NFWS produces a newsletter three times a year for its members and organises a one main event each year; an open show in the spring(combining the AGM) held in December. Members may also be seen at other country events representing the NFWS.

To gather veterinary information the NFWS will help with member's veterinary costs for post mortems and disease tests.

A public liability insurance policy covers all members and their immediate families when they are at shows or out working with their ferrets.

To apply to join the NFWS please read the Constitution and Rules, print out the membership form, fill in the required information and send to the membership secretary along with your subscription. There are currently four types of membership: Individual, Family Junior and Affiliated.

Ferret clubs may be "Affiliated" to the Society for an Affiliated Club membership fee. Insurance cover for the affiliated members is additional. Clubs wishing to apply for Affiliation and Insurance Cover should send an application signed by two elected members, the Club's constitution and membership numbers to the NFWS Secretary if you seek insurance cover.

The NFWS is an affiliated member of the Countryside Alliance and we appoint 'the Ferret Representative' to the council of "The Countryside Alliance teach me!"