Dress-up dead possum comp 'sick'
Wed, 01 Aug 2012 2:52p.m.
By Cleo Fraser
A Taranaki school which held a best dressed dead possum competition at its annual pig hunt fundraiser is defending the event which has been labelled "sick".
Photos from the Uruti School competition held on Tuesday, which show a skinned possum dressed as a boxer, some in baby clothes and two relaxing on mini beach towels, were published on the Taranaki Daily News website and drew more than 120 comments.
Another photo shows a young girl holding a dead possum dressed up as a bride.
Pauline Sutton, principal of Uruti School which is about 40km north of New Plymouth, has defended the event and says feedback has all been positive.
"When people die, don't we dress them up?" she told NZ Newswire.
It is the first time the school has held a dress-up possum competition and Ms Sutton says it may not be the last.
However, SPCA spokeswoman Jackie Poles-Smith says the competition is disappointing.
"The SPCA's focus is on teaching children respect and empathy for animals and they didn't do that," spokeswoman Jackie Poles-Smith said.
"Animals deserve respect even after death."
About 60 percent of the online comments labelled the event inhumane with the rest saying it was just a bit of fun.
"Absolute sickos," wrote Michelle.
"How absolutely disgusting," commented a person calling themselves Disgusted.
Maggie asked if those involved were "savages".
Others pointed out the positive effects such events might have on the environment by killing off pests.
"Judging by all the pigs lined up, these people have done the community and the environment a major favour by hunting a dangerous and destructive pest," Emma said.
A local woman calling herself Mama from the "Hicks" reminded readers to remember where their food came from, saying: "...in the scheme of things a few dead pigs and possums dressed up isn't the end of the world people".
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8/08/2012 9:47:28 a.m.
Wake up people - DOC, AHB, and the Greens support the use of 1080 poison which is a cruel slow killer of not only possums but pigs, deer and our native birds. There is absolutely no respect for them or our environment with that behaviour.
There is no excuse good enough for pouring a highly toxic poison over our forests and streams.
2/08/2012 8:38:53 a.m.
Reading this article confirms my belief that the politically correct nacy pancy brigades are out to rule the world. As kids we had the old school gala where allsorts happened and it has not caused one bit of harm to any of us. Then about 20 years ago someone started changing the rules and told their kids something’s funs were wrong and these kids have grown up weird/warped and twisted. This even means kids can’t climb trees now days. These people need to get of their high horse’s and enjoy lift it’s to short to be spoil sports to the great kids we have live life to the full.
1/08/2012 11:34:22 p.m.
They're just decomposing cell matter just like a human body. The only difference is a human corpse isn't desecrated out of respect for other persons who were close to the person when they were alive.
My biggest concern is that the dead possums could be passing on diseases to the children handling them. Its just unhygienic.
1/08/2012 6:05:53 p.m.
What sort of school teaches children to play with dead/diseased animals and disrespect them, by hosting dress up dead possum competitions???The Principal must be both stupid and sick to have authorised this and has not only bought shame to her school, but every decent sane NZ citizen.If I was the Department of Education, I would fire the Principal immediately and put an end to its barbaric rituals!
1/08/2012 5:13:15 p.m.
Possums are a pest and animals are simply other natural resource to be exploited in the great scheme of things, they don't deserve respect after death at all. They deserve to be eaten.
1/08/2012 4:42:47 p.m.
No wonder children can be so cruel to animals if this is what adults are allowing them to do, why dont they lead by example...yes they are a pest but surely there are other things they could have done instead?
1/08/2012 3:58:14 p.m.
shut up hippies
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