Ordinance OK’d, allows Butte pet stores to sell mice, rats

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 20, 2014 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

Licensed pet stores will be able to sell mice and rats in Butte-Silver Bow under a new ordinance approved by Butte-Silver Bow commissioners Wednesday.

The ordinance, which will take effect in 30 days, will allow licensed pet stores to sell mice, rats, guinea pigs, gerbils and hamsters. Current local law prohibits raising or selling mice or rats.

The council in January placed a 90-day moratorium on the law so a pet store owner could resume selling the rodents as food for pet snakes, and so commissioners could consider changes to the ordinance enacted in 1977.

County animal control officials in December told Mark Dawson, owner of the Fish Bowl pet store on Harrison Avenue, that he must stop selling mice and rats as of Jan. 1. They said a child had been bitten by a rat they traced back to his store – something Dawson doubted.

Dawson said sudden enforcement of the ordinance caused business at his store to plummet and, after the issue became public, commissioners approved the moratorium.

The new ordinance also would allow mice and rats to be used for scientific research. Also, each household would be allowed to have three of the animals as “feeders” or pets.

— Reach Smith at mike.smith@mtstandard.com or 406-496-5511

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