Blood Sport

bullfight by pablo picasso

vick

Blood sport is any sport or entertainment that involves violence against animals, such as coursing or beagling (the pursuit of game by dogs), and combat sports such as cockfighting and dogfighting. The earliest use of the term is in reference to mounted hunting, where the quarry would be actively chased, as in fox hunting or hare coursing. Before firearms a hunter using arrows or a spear might also wound an animal, which would then be chased and perhaps killed at close range, as in medieval boar hunting. Later, the term seems to have been applied to various kinds of baiting and forced combat: bull-baiting, bear-baiting, cockfighting and later developments such as rat-baiting. The animals were specially bred, confined and forced to fight.

In the Victorian era, social reformers began a vocal opposition to such activities, claiming grounds of ethics, morality and animal welfare. Limitations on blood sports have been enacted in much of the world, through sports remain legal under varying degrees of control in certain locations (e.g., bullfighting and cockfighting) but have declined in popularity almost everywhere else. Proponents of blood sports are widely cited to believe that they are traditional within the culture. Bullfighting aficionados, for example, do not regard bullfighting as a sport but as a cultural activity. It is sometimes called a tragic spectacle, because in many forms of the sport the bull is invariably killed, and the bullfighter is always at risk of death.

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