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Possum Drop case costs fall on state

Posted July 30, 2013

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.

— A Superior Court judge has ordered the state Wildlife Resources Commission to pay almost $75,000 in attorney fees to PETA in the legal challenge to the annual New Year's Eve Possum Drop in Brasstown.

An administrative judge ruled last November that the commission lacked the authority to permit the event, in which a possum is lowered in a Plexiglas box during the countdown to midnight.

The commission appealed the ruling but dropped its appeal after two days. Judge William Pittman ruled the agency "acted without substantial justification in pressing its claims" and said it must pay PETA's legal costs by Sept. 1.

"This decision backs up PETA's position that the Wildlife Resources Commission issued the permit for this crude and cruel activity illegally in the first place," PETA general counsel Jeffrey Kerr said in a statement. "The WRC compounded its unlawful conduct by filing a baseless appeal and sticking taxpayers with the bill."

State lawmakers passed legislation allowing the Possum Drop to continue in February, and Gov. Pat McCrory signed it into law.

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  • thumperdcs Jul 31, 2013

    Look, I've fished for 56 years and hunted for 40+. But, for all you who justify this activity 'cause this possum is a pet I have a question: how would you feel if someone put your best racoon hound or retriever in a plexiglass box and lowered him on NY Eve?

  • Krimson Jul 31, 2013

    Thank goodness McCrony signed the Bill!

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 31, 2013

    Why was the wild life agency even involved? Here again these animal right groups come to NC because they know it's easy picking here and they'll get some money.

  • perseusomega9 Jul 31, 2013

    It seems the right can't rape and pillage the environment and natural resources fast enough

  • ylisabet2 Jul 30, 2013

    If you would do your research, you would discover lots of information/photos that prove the opossum does suffer injury and mistreatment at the Possum Drop! Quit taking the word of people that only have a monetary interest in the event!

    When a community starts publicizing an event nationwide, they are in no position to complain when it comes back to bite them!!!! This event needs to stop the use of a *live* opossum; stop embarrassing the state!!!

  • justthetrashman Jul 30, 2013

    well lets just take 2 WRC officers off the beat for a year. then folks can shoot more deer at night without fear of getting BUSTED. there are to many of them also.

  • fedora Jul 30, 2013

    GOP passing more laws that have no bennefit for the citizens of North Carolina.

  • Rebelyell55 Jul 30, 2013

    I agree with most. If they want to protect them things, why ain't that out at night, keeping em off the road so they don't get ran over? Oh yeah, it's all about money.

  • busyb97 Jul 30, 2013

    It is sad when people are more concerned about an animal tht is nothing more than an overgrown rat or usually roadkill, than they are concerned about other PEOPLE.

  • A person Jul 30, 2013

    For some reason the people have to pay for a group of dimwits sticking their noses into the business of a community without being invited to do so

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