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Ferrets are related to the weasel and ermine. They are known to be used for hunting rabbits by Roman times and are recorded as being used in this capacity by the 13th century both in England and continental Europe. By the 15th century, ferrets also become pets for the well-bred, most notably seen in a portrait of Elizabeth I.

Medieval manuscripts depict the ferret being released into rabbit burrows, where it pursues the rabbit, which jumps out of the burrow and into a net.

External Links

Ferrets in Art History