Horse Diapers on Trial

Amish at court.
Amish at court.

Russellville, KY – 13 members of the conservative Swartzentruber Amish are heading to trial after a judge set their court date for August 2nd.  The members of the Amish community are accused of refusing to obey a city ordinance which requires them to put waste collection bags, or diapers, on their horses when traveling on the street.

Amish at court.
Amish at court.

The Swartzentruber Amish believe placing the bags on their horses would be a violation of their religious beliefs, and are fighting the ordinance based on religious freedom.  They believe the ordinance specifically targets their religion, but the city says the ordinance is necessary for public safety and is applied to everyone equally.

There are 37 lawsuits pending against the 13 Amish.  “I’m going to be asking for 37 separate trials,” attorney Travis Lock, who is representing the Amish, told reporters.

The penalty for violating the horse diaper ordinance is typically a fine and court costs, but previously Amish have refused to pay the fine and have been placed in jail. Amos Mast is one of those who was sent to jail for refusing to pay a diaper fine.  “I’m a farmer, I don’t travel much because I just stay on the farm,” Mast said. “There’s times that I need to be out (on the road), so we just go and face what happens.”

The ordinance is facing legal challenges in federal court.

Author: Dale Williams <-- Become my friend on Facebook! - Phone: 724-964-6773

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