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Many women imprisoned during the suffrage campaign went on hunger strike. These women were force-fed by prison doctors, who would insert a tube into their mouths, forcing it down their oesophaguses and pouring liquidised food into their stomachs. However, in 1913 the Government changed its tactic and the Cat and Mouse Act was rushed through Parliament. It allowed for prisoners on hunger strike to be released when they became weak or ill but, when sufficiently recovered, to be re-imprisoned – hence the name Cat and Mouse Act.
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