House grants Possum Drop loophole from wildlife regs

Posted May 27, 2014

Clay’s Corner is the little store in Brasstown, Clay County, that’s become the center of controversy for lowering a live opossum in a cage from a pole on New Year’s Eve. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals mounted a legal challenge this year against the practice. But owner Clay Logan and his buddies say they don’t mean any harm. In fact, he’ll feed anyone who walks in the door, and he’ll play them some good old music – just as long as they’re not with PETA.

— 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.


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  • mustelidparamour May 29, 2014

    This bill COMPLETELY undermines the credibility of NC legislators and NC laws!!!! I find it outrageous that a person can "apply" to be outside of the law for a duration of time in order to do whatever act the law prohibits!! Would we ever say it was ok to shoplift on 12/25, because people's children need presents for Christmas? Would we ever say that it is ok to rape on 2/14, because it's Valentine's Day and people are lonely? Then why in the world would we say it is ok to terrorize an animal between the dates of 12/26 and 1/2 just because these people want to be able to observe their festival? Just because something is a tradition does not mean it is not cruel!!! The animal welfare laws are there FOR A REASON, just like the laws prohibiting rape and shoplifting!!! The laws need to be upheld every single day of the year, or else they cease to be laws and cease to protect that which they were enacted to protect!!!

  • 42_wral_mods_suck_i'm_gone May 28, 2014

    GOP wasting your tax dollars.

  • 42_wral_mods_suck_i'm_gone May 28, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The mods have been a bit censor happy on comments lately. Even non controversial ones. Maybe they are short handed this week.

  • teleman60 May 28, 2014

    Welcome to gop America where the state legislature creates a LOOPHOLE in state animal welfare regulations to ALLOW for the legal tormenting of a possum.

    Because nothing shows just how forward thinking a state you are like a good ole possum drop.

    God it's exciting to live among the aborigines. Maybe we'll run some moonshine tomorrow, ya think Bubba?

  • Benjamin Wright May 27, 2014
    user avatar

    Nice, not only did they allow the dropping of the possum but they allowed whatever else anyone wants to do to a possum over the week long period. Another piece of well written legislation.

  • Forthe Newssite May 27, 2014
    user avatar


  • Forthe Newssite May 27, 2014
    user avatar

    censorship is a BAD thing WRAL!!! But you do it with regularity..why even have a site where one can post comments if there is no uniformity applied to what gets posted and what does not? Sad, really sad.

    You've driven folks away from WRAL-FM by management actions, are you trying to do the same here?