Allow Hedgehogs in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Game Commission, Governor Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and Pennsylvania State Senate
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Besides having a peaceful and humorous nature, hedgehogs readily lend themselves to just about anyone's lifestyle and schedule. Being diurnal (awake parts of both day and night) just like house cats, nearly everyone can find a time of day in which to enjoy them. They do not require a great deal of room in which to live and their dietary requirements are very easy to meet and, since they are solitary animals by nature they neither require nor want the companionship of another animal. Despite their solitary nature, they can become very affectionate with their owners and will even enjoying watching TV with you or just snuggling in your lap. Additionally, hedgehogs are very quiet, and unlike hamsters, Guinea Pigs and other small rodents, pet hedgehogs do not give off any appreciable odor and they are easily litter trained. Add to this the fact that they require no immunization shots and are very disease resistant and you can see why so many people consider hedgehogs to be the perfect pet.
There are only 5 states in this country wherein hedgehogs are illegal. They are neither poisonous nor harmful in any way to the population and there appears to be no reason for the prohibition of this average house pet. However, an email from the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) revealed about hedgehogs, We do not issue permits, and they are not legal to import into Pennsylvania [6/4/08, 7:51am, [email protected]]. However, PA Code 16.1. is quite vague as it defines a domestic animal as an equine animal, bovine animal, sheep, goat, pig, dog or cat and a wild animal as an animal other than a domestic animal [http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/007/chapter16/s16.1.html]. According to this definition, animals such as hamsters, chinchillas, ferrets, hermit crabs, and goldfish could also be considered illegal. While hedgehogs were domesticated relatively recently, they have not been imported into the United States from Africa since 1991, nor are they brought in from the wild, so all hedgehogs currently residing in this country have been bred and born in captivity [www.exoticpetvet.com/caresheets/CareOfAfricanPygmyHedgehog.doc].
Therefore, we implore you to legalize the sale and ownership of hedgehogs in the state of Pennsylvania.
Thank you for your time.