Is it Legal in Montana to Transport Livestock In Your Car?
A man in Norfolk, Nebraska was pulled over for having a Longhorn in his vehicle. KSAT 12 details in the video below the story of a Watusi-Longhorn named Howdy Doody, who was being transported in Nebraska by a man named Lee Meyer. Meyer was pulled over after local officers received a call about a cow in a vehicle.
Can You Transport Livestock in Your Car in Montana?
This seems like the kind of story that you'd hear in Montana, and we wondered if it would be legal to have a steer in your car.
According to Montana Rule: 32.4.701 section 4) "Movement of alternative livestock must be in a secured and enclosed vehicle."
So if Meyer lived in Montana and was transporting Howdy Doody around it would have violated the rule above because the vehicle wasn't enclosed. But that begs another question.
Can you have a Longhorn, or cattle, as a pet in Montana?
The New York Times article indicates Howdy Doody is a pet steer.
Again, according to Montana Code 87-5-702 section 2):
"Domestic animal" means an animal that, through long association with humans, has been bred to a degree that has resulted in genetic changes affecting color, temperament, conformation, or other attributes of the species to an extent that makes the animal unique and distinguishable from wild individuals of the species and that is readily controllable if accidentally released into the wild. The term includes livestock, as defined in 81-2-702, dogs, cats, rodents, Eurasian ferrets, and poultry.
I'm no lawyer, but if Howdy Doody is a pet, it seems like he could be transported in a car. I couldn't find any codes or regulations in Chapter 23 "Domestic Animal Control and Protection" that specifically referenced having cattle, being kept as a pet, in a vehicle.
That being said, it's likely there would be other traffic violations, as was the case in this particular situation, according to KSAT 12.