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The Black Act was an Act of Parliament passed in Britain in 1723 during the reign King George I. It established death penalty for the unlawful killing or maiming of animals. The statute was passed in 1722 to deal with the growing issue of poaching from private parks and land owned by the King. In addition to poaching, the Black Act also covered entering offenses like private lands with weapons, cutting down trees, establishing gardens on private land, and committing acts of vandalism such as arson. A later amendment extended the Black Act to anyone wearing a disguise while committing a crime. The statute was repealed in 1827
Black Acts as used in Scots law refer to Statutes of the Scottish Parliament passed from 1535 to 1594 and recorded in a book printed in black letter.