People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has scored a legal victory prohibiting the 19-year-old tradition of dropping a live opossum at midnight during a New Year's Eve celebration in Brasstown, North Carolina. PETA filed suit against the state agency that issued a yearly permit allowing store owner Clay Morgan to put an opossum in a Plexiglass cage and lower it from atop a high pole, claiming the practice was animal cruelty. A judge decided in favor of PETA in November.
The event, which draws thousands of spectators annually, will be held again this year. Morgan said the drop would go on as planned, with the substitution of either a stuffed or a roadkill opossum. Senior Media Coordinator of PETA David Perle said of the court ruling:
"There are many ways to ring in the new year that don’t involve dangling a small, timid and terrified wild animal over a boisterous crowd and exposing him to bright lights, fireworks, and other frightening noises.”
Read more on the story at the Asheville Citizen-Times. Link
(Image credit: Eliza Kern/reesenews)