Lawmakers not ready to let possum issue drop

Posted July 14, 2015

A possum is lowered in a plastic box as part of the New Year's Eve Possum Drop in Brasstown, N.C.

— It's an issue that just won't play possum.

The House Rules Committee on Tuesday gutted a Senate bill and placed language related to the annual Possum Drop in Clay County into it.

This is the latest legislation involved in the long-running dispute over whether a Brasstown businessman can hold its annual event during which a captured possum in a plastic box is lowered to the ground to ring in the new year. The practice has drawn ire from animal-rights groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which say the practice is cruel and violates state law. Backers of the drop say the critter in question is well treated.

The bill passed by the House Rules Committee repeals a 2014 local law known as the "Possum Right to Work Act" that applied only to Clay County. It leaves in places a 2015 law that says state wildlife laws, which ordinarily preclude the capture of live wild animals, don't apply to possums anywhere in the state from Dec. 29 through Jan. 2 each year.

The bill next goes to the House floor.


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  • John Snow Jul 15, 2015
    user avatar

    Self-perpetuating stereotypes.

  • Melissa Noderer Jul 14, 2015
    user avatar

    Round up everyone who votes for this legislation, including the Governor--if he signs it into law. over the five days when the possum drop is permitted, cage those legislative rascals and drop them, one by one over the course of the five days. I wouldn't be in favor of slowly lowering them to the ground. Drop 'em fast. Just imagine what an economic uptick this could be for Brasstown. The legislators "would be well cared for during its captivity and released shortly after its service to the festivities" (quoted from a June 12 WRAL report on the treatment of the opossum"

  • Teresa Engel Jul 14, 2015
    user avatar

    It's good to see our GA is focused on the important stuff. *Rolls Eyes*