RALEIGH The state Wildlife Resources Commission has dropped its appeal of a ruling that put a halt to Brasstowns live opossum drop.
For years, Clay Logan and others who gathered at Clays Corner in the western North Carolina town included a live opossum in their New Years Eve celebration.
The wild animal would be suspended above the crowd in a clear box for hours. As midnight approached, the box was lowered and the opossum was released into the wild.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals challenged the practice.
North Carolina law prohibits possession of live wildlife without a permit. Logan had obtained one from the state Wildlife Resources Commission, saying he could display the wild animal.
But a state administrative law judge ruled late last year that the commission had no authority to regulate the display of wild animals.
On Thursday, the commission withdrew its appeal of that decision and plans to let the ruling stand.
PETA members lauded the step.
In recognizing that captive wildlife species shouldnt be needlessly harassed, North Carolina has taken a welcome step forward, Delcianna Winders, PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement, said in a statement.
Despite the legal wrangling, Logan and others gathered at Clays Corner on New Years Eve and brought in 2013 with a new twist on the old tradition.
At the stroke of midnight, Logan lowered an opaque padlocked box covered with photos of opossums. He never revealed what was inside.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email firstname.lastname@example.org to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less