NC judge rules against New Year's Eve possum drop
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A possum drop that attracts thousands of people to a tiny town in western North Carolina each New Year's Eve may have had its last hurrah after a judge ruled Tuesday that a state agency didn't have the authority to issue a permit for the event.
"Citizens are prohibited from capturing and using wild animals for pets or amusement," Judge Fred Morrison wrote in his ruling. "Hunters must afford wild animals the same right Patrick Henry yearned for: 'Give me liberty, or give me death!"
The ruling would end a 19-year tradition of suspending a possum in see-through box covered with holiday tinsel and lowering it to the ground at midnight. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had sued the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, which issues the permit for the event, saying it's illegal and cruel.
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