- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Senate has voted down a proposal that would have punished people who watch, not organize, animal fights.

Senators failed Republican-sponsored House Bill 378 on a vote of 20-27 Tuesday.

Anyone age 18 or older who knowingly attends a cock, dog or other animal fight could have been charged with a misdemeanor offense and a fine of up to $500 under the measure.

Republican Sen. Scott Sales said the bill was an unnecessary solution to a problem that, with three known dog fights in the last 20 years, Montana does not have. He called the three-line proposal “code clutter.”

Republican Sen. Taylor Brown said the measure was a “code creeper,” intended to introduce animal rights into law.

The House passed the bill 74-25 last month. Unless quickly revived in the Senate, it is likely dead.

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