Raleigh, N.C. — The ongoing fight between a North Carolina mountain town and animal advocates over the town's New Year's Eve tradition has led to the state House to create a loophole for the event.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has repeatedly challenged the annual Possum Drop in Brasstown, calling it cruel treatment of the shy marsupial.
A state judge said in 2012 that the Wildlife Resources Commission lacked the authority to permit the event, in which a possum is lowered in a Plexiglas box during the countdown to midnight.
State lawmakers passed legislation last year allowing the Possum Drop to continue, but PETA filed another lawsuit to stop it.
So, Rep. Roger West, R-Cherokee, filed a bill last week to exempt Clay County, which includes Brasstown, from any state wildlife regulations regarding "the capture, captivity, treatment, or release" of possums between Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 each year.
The measure passed the House on a voice vote and now heads to the Senate.