- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Another proposed law designed to preserve a western North Carolina New Year’s Eve tradition involving a live, wild opossum is going to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk.

The General Assembly gave final approval Tuesday to a measure exempting opossums everywhere in North Carolina from state wildlife laws during a five-day stretch around each new year.

The bill responds to legal complaints from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about the annual Possum Drop in the Clay County community of Brasstown. A captured opossum is lowered at midnight in a box.

The legislature last year approved a similar wildlife rule exemption for Clay County only, but a judge suspended its enforcement.

The House agreed 92-23 to the Senate version of the new bill, which now goes to McCrory for his review.

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