Raleigh, N.C. — A North Carolina mountain town’s New Year’s Eve tradition remains intact after a bill lifting wildlife regulations for its annual Possum Drop passed the Senate on Wednesday.
The bill creates a loophole exempting Brasstown’s event, in which a possum is lowered in a Plexiglas box during the countdown to the new year, from state wildlife regulations.
The legislation has drawn criticism from animal welfare advocates, who say the tradition is cruel treatment of the marsupials.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has posed frequent challenges to the legislation, filing a lawsuit against a law passed last year allowing the Possum Drop to take place.
The bill applies only to Clay County, which contains Brasstown, during the week of Dec. 26 to Jan. 2. The House passed the bill last month.