Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A North Carolina judge has nixed a local holiday tradition with a stroke of his pen. Judge Fred Morrison has told the people of Brasstown, N.C., that the annual New Year's Eve possum drop is against the law.
VIRGINIA NORTH, VA (Catholic Online) - Just what is a "possum drop" and why is it so controversial?
The community of Brasstown has celebrated New Year's for the past several years with a possum drop. The drop involves a caged opossum being lowered onto a stage in the last minute of the year. It is essentially a local parody of the more famous ball drop in Times Square.
However, this regional tradition, which has been growing in popularity for the past few years, drew the ire of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who filed a complaint with the court, saying they did not have a permit to keep the animal.
The judge ruled in favor of PETA, acknowledging that while Clay Logan, the event organizer had a permit to take the animal, he did not have a permit to keep it in a cage. Therefore, to comply with the law Logan is required to release the animal or to kill it. Either option would be legal.
Logan protested the ruling, saying the animal is well kept in a cage and under the care of veterinarian. He also added that each year, the opossum is released back into the woods following the event.
Logan promised the event would go on, but this time, without an opossum. Possum drops are still done in other states.
New Year's just won't be the same, will it?
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.