PETA sues to challenge new law that allows opossum tradition

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is challenging a new law designed to preserve a western North Carolina New Year’s Eve tradition involving a live, wild opossum.

Multiple media outlets report Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into law on Thursday that exempts opossums everywhere in North Carolina from state wildlife laws during a five-day period around Jan. 1.

On Friday, the organization filed a lawsuit in Wake County, seeking an injunction against the law for being overly vague.

Traditionally, the annual Possum Drop in Brasstown has featured a captured opossum lowered in a box at midnight, though legal challenges have sometimes altered those plans.

Animal rights groups say the animal is traumatized by the event, while organizers say they take good care of the opossum.

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