PETA Statement: Opossum’s Cruel Killing Means Legal Protections Are Still Needed

For Immediate Release:
June 19, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

High Point, N.C. – Thanks to animal-cruelty laws, this group of boys will face legal repercussions for egregious cruelty to the opossum they allegedly beat with sticks and burned alive. However, these young people could have violently tortured wildlife without repercussion had these acts occurred within the five-day window set up by the North Carolina Legislature for the New Year’s Eve Opossum Drop—an unprecedented move that exempts all opossums from legal protection. This vile case is proof that there’s never a justification for lifting the protections that animals badly need, least of all for the benefit of Opossum Drop organizers who stand to rake in cash on the back of an unlucky, vulnerable animal.

–PETA President Ingrid Newkirk in response to the recent killing of an opossum by a group of young boys

PETA’s motto reads, in part,  that “animals are not ours to harm in any way.” More information about our work is available at

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind