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Montana politics, elections and legislative news.

Montana Lawmakers Consider Legalizing Sale Of Raw Milk


Wednesday at the Montana Legislature, lawmakers heard testimony on a bill that would legalize the direct sale of raw milk from farmers with no more than seven cows or 15 goats or sheep. Those farmers would have to buy a $75 license and pay $22 a month per animal, along with adhering to several safety procedures.

The Department of Livestock's Executive Director Christian Mackay opposed the bill, saying it would cost his department too much to monitor the operations.

"And we would ask you please, do not upset the applecart and put unpaid-for mandates on the department."

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Representative Nancy Ballance argued that only a few farms will be able to shoulder the costs and regulations associated with the proposed law.

"As we raise the fees, put the testing on the producers, put the collection on the producers, we may have one or two."

The committee will likely vote on the bill tomorrow morning.

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