A Crappy Situation: Amish Push Back Against Ban on Horse Poop Bags

danjoseph | November 1, 2016
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The Amish don’t drive cars. Their traditional aversion to technology has led them to choose horse-drawn carriages over motor vehicles, despite the clear advantages cars bestow upon the average traveler. One of those advantages is that cars do not poop in the road. But horses do.  

So opposed to modern technology are the Amish, that they even oppose “collection bags.” 

A recent ordinance in Auburn, Kent., requires horses used by the Amish while traveling to have bags attached that would collect any horse droppings that may end up on the street if nature calls while a horse is shuffling a carriage off to its destination.

The Amish objected to the new ordinance, claiming that attaching such a device may frighten the horses. 

In an effort to fight the regulation, the Amish of Auburn County have filed a legal claim arguing that the regulation is unconstitutional because it discriminates against the Amish tradition of allowing horses to excrete their waste when and where they please. 

"It's being clearly designed to single out the Amish and, frankly, to discriminate against the Amish,” said Travis Lock, the attorney who is representing the Amish in the case. "This ordinance was passed to target this particular group of Amish in the Auburn community and that in and of itself is unconstitutional and discriminatory.”

Auburn County officials defended the ordinance, claiming that it keeps the streets clean and prevents the spread of disease. 

The district court that represents Auburn County has agreed to hear the case and will hear oral arguments on April 26. 

"Hopefully we can get some sort of resolution shortly after the April date, but realistically there's always other potential appeals after that," said Logan County Attorney Joe Ross.

Of course, this issue could potentially come before the Supreme Court of the United States, which will make the need to fill the court’s vacant seat even more imperative following the presidential election. 

Those horses are going to poop somewhere. The justice system needs to ensure that they do so in a manner that prevents disease and possible shoe damage. But they also must weigh these considerations with the right of the Amish to live in the 16th Century. 

NOTE: MRCTV.org apologizes if we have offended any Amish, in this post. Of course, if you are Amish and are reading this online, you are doing it wrong.