If a bill passes the North Carolina General Assembly, the Possum Drop in Brasstown will be able to resume the New Year's Eve tradition with a real, live opossum. Senators Jim Davis (R-Macon) and Stan Bingham (R-Davidson) have are the co-primary sponsors of SB 60. The bill is entitled "The Opossum Right-to-Work Act".
From the Asheville Citizen-Times:
With North Carolina’s legislature taking up a bill involving the fate of captive marsupials, a pair of lawmakers figured they might as well have some fun.Sen. Davis who represents that part of North Carolina said the Possum Drop was important to his constituents. The bill is designed to "to get these people (PETA) off their backs.”
The “Opossum Right-to-Work Act” introduced Wednesday in the state Senate is identical to a House bill introduced earlier this week—except for the tongue-in-cheek title.
The measure gives the state Wildlife Resources Commission the explicit authority to permit the organizer of a New Year’s Eve Possum Drop to display a wild-caught animal. By tradition, the trapped opossum is suspended in a tinsel-covered box and gently lowered to the ground at midnight, then released.
The bill would rewrite sections of GS 113-272.5(a) and GS G.S. 113-274(c) to allow the Wildlife Resources Commission to issue permits to temporarily allow the possession of wild animals or wild birds for "scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes".