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Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 -- 2:54 PM

The back-and-forth between Clark County District Attorney Darwin Zwieg and the Department of Agriculture's point man on premise registration continues.

As we've reported, DATCP's Paul McGraw wrote Zwieg in November requesting he follow up with Amish Bishops, and possibly charge the 40 or so Clark County Amish farmers that haven't complied with the state requirement to register their properties.

Some Old Order Amish believe the requirement is the first in a five-step process that will eventually lead to mandatory "tagging" of humans, often referred to as the Mark of the Beast.

Zwieg replied to McGraw, noting he'd have to prove premise registration was the "least restrictive" means of reaching DATCP's goal of dealing with disease outbreak effectively. Zwieg didn't think the state could.

McGraw responded in mid-April and seemed to back off calls for prosecution through the county, but acknowledged DATCP had hoped for "better cooperation" from the Amish.

Zwieg responded this week, saying he was not "particularly adverse" to moving forward with prosecution, but noted DATCP still had to develop a "compelling argument" that showed premise registration was the least restrictive means of preventing the spread of disease.

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