BRASSTOWN, N.C. -- The controversial practice of dropping a live possum to ring in the New Year has hit a snag in one North Carolina town.
The Associated Press reports that PETA argued that animal suffers stress because of the noise of the crowd and the bright lights.
Earlier this month a judge ruled that Clay Logan, the organizer of the event, could use a live opossum. However, the catch was Logan had to have a state permit, which Logan said he did not have enough time to obtain.
As a result, Logan said he plans to lower possum stew or possibly roadkill in the tinsel-covered plastic box that normally houses the live animal.
Last year, organizers lowered a wild possum nicknamed Opie to ring in 2014. That celebration went on despite PETA’s attempts by to stop it.
Organizers pointed out that the possum was unharmed and was returned to the wild after the festivities.
This is not the first year the event had to go on without a live animal. The event resumed last year after revelers were forced to usher in 2013 without a possum after a judge ruled the wildlife commission's event permit was invalid.