Montana Statutes

Statute by categorysort ascending Citation Summary
MT - Veterinary - CHAPTER 18. VETERINARY MEDICINE MCA 37-18-101 to 37-18-606

These are the state's veterinary practice laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners.

MT - Trusts - Chapter 2. Upc--Intestacy, Wills, and Donative Transfers. MCA 72-2-1017

This Montana statute states that a trust for the care of a designated domestic or pet animal is valid (but for no longer than 21 years, even if the trust provides for a longer term).  The trust terminates when no living animal is covered by the trust.  Extrinsic evidence is admissible in determining the transferor's intent.  Except as expressly provided otherwise in the trust instrument, no portion of the principal or income may be converted to the use of the trustee or to any use other than for the trust's purposes or for the benefit of a covered animal and a court may reduce the amount of the property transferred if it determines that that amount substantially exceeds the amount required for the intended use.

MT - Ordinance - Chapter 23. Domestic Animal Control and Protection. MCA 7-23-2108

This Montana statute provides that the governing body of the county may regulate, restrain, or prohibit the running at large of dogs by the adoption of an ordinance which substantially complies with state law provisions related to licensing.  Violation of an ordinance adopted is a misdemeanor.  Additionally, t he county governing body is authorized to impound, sell, kill, or otherwise destroy dogs found at large contrary to ordinances.

MT - Lost Property - RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF FINDERS GENERALLY MCA 70-5-101 to 70-5-107

This section comprises Montana's lost property provisions.

MT - Licenses - Chapter 23. Domestic Animal Control and Protection. MCA 7-23-4103 This Montana statute relates to annual dog licenses issued by municipal corporations pursuant to an ordinance which substantially complies with state law.
MT - Initiatives - I-143 (game farm reform) 1-143 (2000) This initiative would amend state law to prohibit all new alternative livestock ranches, also known as game farms. Existing game farms would be allowed to continue operating, but would be prohibited from transferring their license to any other party. They would also be prohibited from allowing shooting of game farm animals for any type of fee. The proposal also repeals provisions of the law concerning applications for expansion of game farms. If approved by voters, the measure would take effect immediately. It was passed in 2000 by 51.4% of voters.
MT - Initiatives - Constitutional Amendment 41 Constitutional Amendment 41 (2004) This 2004 ballot measure was an amendment to the constitution proposed by the legislature. The 2003 Legislature submitted this proposal for a vote. It would amend the Montana Constitution by adding a provision specifically to recognize and preserve the opportunity of Montana citizens to harvest wild fish and wild game animals. The amendment specifies that this new provision does not create a right to trespass on private property or diminish any other private rights. This amendment is effective upon approval by the electorate. It was passed in 2004 by 80.6% of voters.
MT - Hunting - Chapter 4. Commercial Activities. MCA 87-4-401 to 87-4-433

In Montana, a person may not operate an alternative livestock ranch without a license. Such ranches are defined as enclosed land upon which animals such as privately owned caribou, white-tailed deer, etc, are kept for purposes of obtaining, rearing in captivity, keeping, or selling. The rancher has reporting requirements.  Failure to comply with provisions of the act may result in revocation of the license.

MT - Hunting - Chapter 3. Restrictions and Regulations MCA 87-6-215

This law represents Montana's hunter harassment law. Under the law, a person may not intentionally interfere with the lawful taking of a wild animal or fishing by another, which includes disturbing a wild animal by engaging in actions or the placement of objects/substances to prevent its taking. This section does not prohibit a landowner or lessee from taking reasonable measures to prevent imminent danger to domestic livestock and equipment.

MT - Horse Slaughter - Chapter 9. Slaughter. MCA 81-9-240, 241

This Montana statute limits the ability of a court to issue an injunction aimed at delaying or stopping the construction of an equine slaughter or processing facility. Additionally, the law provides that if a person files an action against the operation of an equine slaughter or processing facility and does not prevail, the person is liable for all financial losses the facility suffers if the court issues an injunction that halts operations while the action is pending.

MT - Fur - Chapter 4. Commercial Activities. MCA 87-4-1001 to 87-4-1014

In Montana statutes, a person may not own or propagate furbearers unless the person holds a fur farm license. Each licensee must keep records as to the animals and purchasers involved.  A fur farm license may be revoked for failure to operate the fur farm according to the provisions.

MT - Exotic wildlife - Part 7. Importation, Introduction, and Transplantation of Wildlife MCA 87-5-701 to 87-5-725

These Montana statutes control the importation, introduction, and transplantation of exotic wildlife into the state. The importation of any wildlife is prohibited unless the species poses no threat of harm to native wildlife and plants or to agricultural production and that the introduction has significant public benefits. Violations may result in a fine or imprisonment.

MT - Exotic pets - Chapter 4. Commercial Activities. MCA 87-4-801 to 87-4-808

This set of Montana laws covers both "roadside menagerie" (any place where one or more wild animals are kept in captivity for the evident purpose of exhibition or attracting trade, excluding an educational institution or a traveling theatrical exhibition or circus based outside of Montana) and "wild animal menagerie" (any place where one or more bears or large cats, including cougars, lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, pumas, cheetahs, ocelots, and hybrids of those large cats are kept in captivity for use other than public exhibition). The latter definition seems to cover the keeping of those listed species as exotic pets. Under the section, it is unlawful for any person to operate a roadside menagerie or wild animal menagerie without a permit. The annual permit fee for five or less animals is $10. The annual permit fee for more than five animals is $25.

MT - Equine Activity Liability - Chapter 1. Availability of Remedies--Liability. MCA 27-1-725 to 27-1-728

The Montana equine activity liability act provides that it is the policy of the state of Montana that a person is not liable for damages sustained by another solely as a result of risks inherent in equine activities if those risks are or should be reasonably obvious, expected, or necessary to persons engaged in equine activities.  Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine professional knowingly provided faulty tack or equipment, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the equine activity, owns or otherwise is in lawful possession of the land or facilities upon which the participant sustained injuries because of a known, dangerous latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.

MT - Endangered Species - Chapter 5. Wildlife Protection. MCA 87-5-101 to 87-5-132

These Montana statutes provide the short title for the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act, the definitions associated with the Act, and the legislative policy behind the Act.

MT - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 30. Protection of Farm Animals and Research Facilities MCA 81-30-101 to 81-30- 105

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.

MT - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws MCA 7-23-101 to 7-23-105; 7-23-2108 to 7-23-4104; 7-23-4201 to 7-23-4203; 27-1-715; 81-7-401 to 81-7-403; 87-6-404; 87-4-915

These Montana statutes comprise the state's dog laws.  Among the provisions include strict liability for all dog bites, authority for counties to enact ordinances regarding dangerous dogs, barking dogs, and destruction of unlicensed dogs, as well as general laws related to registration and licensing.

MT - Dangerous - CHAPTER 23. DOMESTIC ANIMAL CONTROL AND PROTECTION. MCA 7-23-2109

This Montana statute provides that the county governing body may regulate, restrain, control, kill, or quarantine any vicious dog, whether such dog is licensed or unlicensed, by the adoption of an ordinance which substantially complies with state dangerous dog laws.

MT - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes MCA 45-8-209 - 211; 45-8- 217; 45-8-218; 7-23-4104

This section comprises Montana's anti-cruelty and dogfighting laws.  A person commits the offense of cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly or negligently subjects an animal to mistreatment or neglect; fails to provide an animal in the person's custody with food and water of sufficient quantity or minimum protection for the animal from adverse weather conditions; or, in cases of immediate, obvious, serious illness or injury, fails to provide licensed veterinary or other appropriate medical care.  Animal abandonment of a "helpless animal" or abandoning any animal on any highway, railroad, or in any other place where it may suffer is also considered cruelty.  A first conviction results in a possible $1,000/1 year imprisonment with graduating penalty enhancements for subsequent convictions.  This section does not prohibit a person humanely destroying an animal for just cause or the use of commonly accepted agricultural and livestock practices on livestock (among other things). Section 217 defines aggravated cruelty as either knowingly or purposely killing or inflicting cruelty to an animal with the purpose of terrifying, torturing, or mutilating the animal, or inflicting cruelty to animals on a collection, kennel, or herd of 10 or more animals.

MT - Commerce - 87-6-202 MCA 87-6-202

Under Montana State law, it is unlawful to buy, sell, or possess, or offer to buy, sell or possess any migratory game bird, game fish, or game animal.  The exceptions include the possession and transportation of legally taken game animals, the sale or purchase of hides, heads or mounts of legally acquired game animals, and the possession of naturally shed antlers of game animals, among other exceptions.

MT - Bite - Chapter 1. Availability of Remedies--Liability. MCA 27-1-715

This Montana statute provides that the owner of any dog which shall without provocation bite any person while such person is on or in a public place or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of such dog, located within an incorporated city or town shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner's knowledge of such viciousness.

MT - Bear - Chapter 5. Wildlife Protection. Part 3. Grizzly Bear MCA 87-5-301 to 87-5-303

These Montana statutes state that state policy is to manage grizzly bears to avoid conflicts with humans and livestock, and control distribution by trapping and lethal measures. The commission may regulate the hunting of grizzlies and establish requirements for their transportation, exportation, and importation.

MT - Assistance Animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws MCA 49-4-202 to 49-4-217; 61-8-516

The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and guide dog laws.