Charity gives XL bully advice to owners in Northern Ireland

Charity gives XL bully advice to owners in Northern Ireland

The USPCA has published new guidance for the owners of American XL bully dogs in Northern Ireland, in the wake of an announcement of UK Government plans for a ban.

Ministers have pledged to define the breed and add it to the banned list under the Dangerous Dogs Act in response to several high-profile, and sometimes fatal, attacks.

However, the Act does not apply to Northern Ireland and the USPCA has joined veterinary and welfare groups in criticising what it called a “kneejerk” response.

Chief executive Nora Smith said: “We understand the recently announced plans for the American bully XL from the UK prime minister is worrying for owners – especially as there are still many details unknown.So, we have pulled together our most asked questions about the proposed XL Bully ban.”

A list of its most frequently asked questions about the issue can be found  HERE

What will happen in Northern Ireland?

  • The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 does not apply to Northern Ireland, except for S.8 which makes provision for corresponding legislation to be made here.
  • That corresponding legislation is The Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 and is enforced by district councils.
  • A ban on American bully XL would require a separate change to legislation in NI, either by a sitting Assembly and Executive or through an intervention by the NI Secretary of State.

Meanwhile, more than 578,000 people have now signed an online parliamentary petition against a ban, far exceeding the 100,000-threshold required to trigger a formal debate.

It argues that the measure is likely to have implications for a range of cross-breeds and “bad owners” should be held accountable for attack incidents.

PM Rishi Sunak said the ban would be in place by the end of this year in his initial announcement on 15 September.