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Montana

West's Montana Code Annotated. Title 81. Livestock. Chapter 30. Protection of Farm Animals and Research Facilities. Part 1. Farm Animal and Research Facility Protection Act

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: MT ST 81-30-101 to 81-30- 105

Citation: MCA 81-30-101 to 81-30- 105


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2013

Summary:   This chapter comprises Montana's “Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection Act." Unlawful acts include exercising control over a facility without consent, damaging or destroying the property of an animal facility, entering an animal facility with the intent to commit a prohibited act, entering an animal facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera, or other means with the intent to commit criminal defamation, and entering an animal facility if the person knows entry is forbidden. A person who has been damaged by reason of a violation of 81-30-103 may bring against the person who caused the damage an action in the district court to recover  an amount equal to three times all actual and consequential damages; and court costs and reasonable attorney fees.


Statute in Full:

81-30-101. Short title

81-30-102. Definitions

81-30-103. Unlawful acts

81-30-104. Action for damage

81-30-105. Penalty

 

 

81-30-101. Short title

This chapter may be cited as the “Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection Act”.

CREDIT(S)

Enacted by Laws 1991, ch. 205, § 1.

 

81-30-102. Definitions

As used in this chapter, the following definitions apply:

(1) “Animal” means any warmblooded or coldblooded animal lawfully confined for food, fur, or fiber production, agriculture and its related activities, research, testing, or education. The term includes but is not limited to dogs, cats, poultry, fish, and invertebrates.

(2) “Animal facility” includes a vehicle, building, structure, research facility, or premises where an animal is lawfully kept, handled, housed, exhibited, bred, or offered for sale.

(3) “Consent” means agreement in fact, whether express or apparent.

(4) “Deprive” means to:

(a) withhold an animal or other property from the owner permanently or for such a period of time that a major portion of the value or enjoyment of the animal or property is lost to the owner;

(b) restore the animal or other property only upon payment of reward or other compensation; or

(c) dispose of an animal or other property in a manner that makes recovery of the animal or property by the owner unlikely.

(5) “Effective consent” means consent by the owner or by a person legally authorized to act for the owner. Consent is not effective if it is:

(a) induced by force or threat;

(b) given by a person that the offender knows is not legally authorized to act for the owner; or

(c) given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is known by the offender to be unable to make reasonable decisions.

(6) “Notice” means:

(a) oral or written communication by the owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;

(b) fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders or to contain animals; or

(c) a sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to a building that are reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders and that indicate that entry is forbidden.

(7) “Owner” means a person who has:

(a) title to the property; or

(b) lawful possession of the property.

(8) “Person” means an individual, state agency, corporation, association, nonprofit corporation, joint-stock company, firm, trust, partnership; two or more persons having a joint or common interest; or some other legal entity.

(9) “Possession” means actual care, custody, control, or management.

(10) “Research facility” means a place, laboratory, institution, medical care facility, elementary school, high school, college, or university at which a scientific test, experiment, or investigation involving the use of a living animal is lawfully carried out, conducted, or attempted.

CREDIT(S)

Enacted by Laws 1991, ch. 205, § 2.


81-30-103. Unlawful acts

(1) A person who does not have the effective consent of the owner may not acquire or otherwise exercise control over an animal facility, an animal from an animal facility, or other property from an animal facility with the intent to deprive the owner of the facility, animal, or property or to damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility.

(2) A person who does not have the effective consent of the owner and who intends to damage the enterprise conducted at an animal facility may not:

(a) damage or destroy an animal facility or an animal or property in or on the premises of an animal facility;

(b) enter an animal facility that is at the time closed to the public with the intent to commit an act prohibited by this chapter;

(c) remain concealed in an animal facility with the intent to commit an act prohibited by this chapter;

(d) enter an animal facility and commit or attempt to commit an act prohibited by this chapter;

(e) enter an animal facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera, or other means with the intent to commit criminal defamation; or

(f) enter or remain on the premises of an animal facility if the person:

(i) had notice that the entry was forbidden; or

(ii) received notice to depart but failed to do so.

(3) The provisions of this chapter do not apply to lawful activities of a:

(a) government agency or its employees who are carrying out their duties under law or to lawful activities of a financial institution or other secured party; and

(b) humane animal treatment shelter or its employees whose primary purpose is the bona fide control or humane care of animals or the enforcement of 45-8-211.

CREDIT(S)

Enacted by Laws 1991, ch. 205, § 3.

 

81-30-104. Action for damage

(1) A person who has been damaged by reason of a violation of 81-30-103 may bring against the person who caused the damage an action in the district court to recover:

(a) an amount equal to three times all actual and consequential damages; and

(b) court costs and reasonable attorney fees.

(2) This chapter may not be construed to affect any other rights of a person who has been damaged by reason of a violation of this chapter. The provisions of subsection (1) may not be construed to limit the exercise of any rights arising out of or relating to a violation of 81-30-103.

CREDIT(S)

Enacted by Laws 1991, ch. 205, § 4.


81-30-105. Penalty

(1) A person convicted of violating 81-30-103(2)(f) shall be fined not less than $50 or more than $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 3 months, or both.

(2) A person convicted of an act that violates 81-30-103(1) and (2)(a) through (2)(e) and that results in $500 or less in damage or destruction shall be fined not more than $500 or be imprisoned in the county jail for a term not to exceed 6 months, or both.

(3) A person convicted of an act that violates 81-30-103(1) and (2)(a) through (2)(e) and that results in more than $500 in damage or destruction shall be fined not more than $50,000 or be imprisoned in the state prison for a term not to exceed 10 years, or both.

CREDIT(S)

Enacted by Laws 1991, ch. 205, § 5.


 



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