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Bull-Baiting

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Bull-baiting was a popular amusement, particularly in 17th and 18th-century England, in which trained bulldogs attacked a tethered bull. In Queen Anne's time it was performed in London at Hockley Hole, regularly twice a week, and there was scarce a provincial town to which it did not extend. At Stamford and at Tutbury, from a very early period, a maddened bull was annually hunted through the streets.

Before the event started, the bull's nose was usually blown full of pepper to enrage the animal before the baiting. The bull was often allowed a hole in the ground, into which to thrust his vulnerable nose and lips. A variant of bull-baiting was "pinning the bull"; specially-trained dogs would be set upon the bull one at a time, a successful attack resulting in the dog fastening his teeth strongly in the bull's snout.

Together with other animal blood sports such as bear-baiting, cockfighting, and dogfighting, this amusement was prohibited in Britain by an act of Parliament in 1835.

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