MTPR

Montana Senate Kills Animal Abuse Bill Over Agriculture Fears

Feb 12, 2015

Frederick (Eric) Moore (R) SD19
Credit Montana Legislature

Montana state senators Thursday killed a bill that would have forced animal owners to pay the costs of boarding and treating abused animals that have been seized by authorities.

Sponsor Tom Facey, Democrat from Missoula, said the bill was about holding abusive animal owners responsible.

“I just don't think it’s appropriate for the taxpayers to foot the bill when there is a criminal case going on and that person could drag that case on for months and months and months, and have no responsibility.”

The bill was amended to exempt growers of livestock, including cattle, sheep, and pigs, but Republican Senator and feedlot owner Eric Moore opposed it nonetheless.

“What’s to say that a future legislator down the road after we’re all gone can look at this bill and say “Wait a minute...how come we can seize llamas but we can’t seize cattle; how come we can seize dogs and horses but we can’t seize sheep, and put the livestock right back in?”

Moore charged the bill was being supported by powerful animal rights groups that wanted to “end animal agriculture” in the United States.

The bill was voted down with 30 no votes against 20 yes votes.