Despite legal action from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and a judge’s ruling, the folks in Brasstown, North Carolina are hell-bent on continuing their New Year’s Eve tradition.
Brasstown has staked its claim to fame as the Possum Capital of the World and for many years the centrepiece of its New Year’s festivities has been a live possum in a plexiglass enclosure that is suspended from the roof of the general store and gradually lowered to the ground as midnight approaches.
PETA is up in arms about the practice, which it has deemed cruel and illegal. The animal rights group took the matter to the courts, and while not going so far as to agree with PETA, a judge ruled that the state agency that issued the permit for the annual Possum Drop did not have jurisdiction to do so.
This has left the Possum Drop in limbo as 2012 draws to a close. Organizers are adamant that the show will go on and are pondering their options for holding the event while complying with the ruling. Substituting a body double for the possum seems to be the preferred option with a stuffed animal, or even roadkill under consideration.
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