Ferret legging is an endurance contest to see who can keep a ferret in their trousers the longest. Ferrets are the obvious choice for such a sport, as they are natural tunnel crawlers that take pleasure in cramped spaces. It became a popular competition from the 1970s among coal miners in Yorkshire, England.
Male-only participants put live ferrets inside their pants. They tie their pants at the ankles before placing the two ferrets inside and fastening their belts. A female version was once held where the ferrets were inserted inside blouses, but it was not popular.
Contestants are not allowed to wear underwear and the ferrets must have a full set of teeth. In order to win the contest, the man must simply not care when “he get his tool bitten”. The winner is the last to release the animal.
Other rules of the competition include competitors are not allowed to be not drunk or drugged, and ferrets can’t be sedated. The ferret leggers can try to knock the animals off a spot they are biting but from the outside of their pants only.
Former ferret-legging world champion Reg Mellor (whose record time was 5 hours and 26 seconds on 5th July 1981) said that new contestants should wear white trousers so they could see the blood caused by the ferrets. In 1986, he tried to beat his record again in a crowd of 2500 people. After five hours, the crowd got bored and left. Mellor’s record was broken in 2010 by a retired headmaster, Frank Bartlett and Christine Farnsworth. They managed to keep the ferrets inside for 5 hours and 30 minutes, raising £1,000 for the Whittington Community First Responders.