Update: On March 6, Governor McCrory signed this bill allowing the cruel treatment of a defenseless animal.
For two decades a tiny North Carolina town has celebrated New Year’s Eve at the expense of one of the world’s oldest and meekest marsupials - the opossum.
Brasstown’s yearly bash draws thousands of outsiders and includes fireworks, music, musket shooting and revving engines. A creature very sensitive to sound, a live opossum is caged in a transparent box and suspended all evening over this mass of noise-making until the countdown to midnight begins, and it’s lowered as Brasstown’s twisted version of the Times Square Ball.
Despite PETA’s and an NC Judge’s attempt to end this cruelty, so far they only delayed it a year; the state legislature just passed a bill to allow it.
Bash host Clay Logan is seeking donations to help him fight for his "first amendment right” to torture this animal. Tell him your support will go, instead, to those opposing his senseless cruelty.
And tell Brasstown to Ban Clay Corner’s Live Possum Drop!
We, the undersigned, see Brasstown's Possum Drop as senselessly cruel and NC lawmakers' defense of it even more shameful.
The opossum is the only marsupial living in the United States, and it’s been around since the time of the dinosaur. Despite scientists' fascination with the creature, say authors William and Winifred Krause, it's the most misunderstood of all animals. Besides being meek and non-threatening, it's intelligent, clean and capable of domestication like any pet. Its cold body temperature protects it from rabies and other diseases, and it is very helpful in controlling pests that can invade communities.
It’s one thing for one small-town businessman to exploit a defenseless animal for profit, but for a crowd of thousands to support it, is beyond comprehension.
Instead of exploiting and traumatizing this meek marsupial, Brasstown could use its New Year's hoedown as well as its famed bluegrass festivals to educate the public and thank the creature for all it does for our communities. It's also the perfect opportunity for a community project (perhaps a Possum Pick Art Competition) to find a more humane substitute for their live victim and an chance to bring attention to Brasstown's acclaimed Campbell Folk School.
Brasstown could choose to give the opossum a place of honor, rather than making it the object of a mob lynching, which is what this possum drop resembles.
As far as the NC Legislature’s cloaked bill supporting Brasstown's Possum Drop, what the assembly has mockingly dubbed the "Opossum Right-to-Work Act," nothing short of highly publicized shaming of this action would be appropriate. There’s no excuse for it.
We request that Brasstown find a kinder way to celebrate and ban this cruel Possum Drop immediately.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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