- The Washington Times - Monday, December 29, 2014

The annual New Year’s Eve “Possum Drop” in a small North Carolina town will go on as planned without a live opossum this year following a lawsuit from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

PETA sued earlier this month to stop the Possum Drop, which has been running in Brasstown for 21 years, attracting thousands of people. A judge ruled that organizer Clay Logan could use a live opossum if he obtained a state permit, but Mr. Logan said he didn’t have the time and will instead use something else to symbolize the opossum, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“We’ll still do something — maybe some roadkill or a pot of stewed possum,” he told the Times. “Rain, storm, sleet or dark of night will not stop the Possum Drop.”

The Possum Drop typically involves caging an opossum in a tinsel-covered plastic box and lowering it to the ground at midnight. The animal is then released unharmed, Mr. Logan said. PETA, which has been fighting against the event for years, claims the event unnecessarily subjects the animals to long-lasting stress and trauma that could possibly be fatal.

“There’s nothing festive about tormenting a timid opossum,” PETA general counsel Jeffrey Kerr said in a statement Monday, the Times reported. “Brasstown can throw a grand party without engaging in cruelty to animals.”

Though the lawsuit only affects the Possum Drop this year, PETA has also filed a legal action to stop the state Wildlife Resources Commission from issuing Mr. Logan a captivity license that would help prevent him from carrying out future events.

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