Warning on NI impact of XL Bully ban
The UK’s chief veterinary officer has stressed there will be an amnesty before a ban on American XL bully dogs, after an expert said the breed was behind almost half of all attacks on humans and dogs killed since 2021.
An amnesty for XL bullies would mean existing animals were not culled, but owners would be required to register and keep them leashed and muzzled in public, Christine Middlemiss said.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement on a ban, a spokesperson from the Dog Control Coalition, of which the British Veterinary Association is a member, said: “The recent incidents are deeply distressing and our thoughts are with all those involved and affected.
“The biggest priority for everyone involved is to protect the public – but banning the breed will sadly not stop these types of incidents recurring.
“For 32 years, the Dangerous Dogs Act has focused on banning types of dog and yet has coincided with an increase in dog bites and the recent deaths show that this approach isn’t working. The UK Government must tackle the root issue by dealing with the unscrupulous breeders, who are putting profit before welfare, and the irresponsible owners whose dogs are dangerously out of control.
“The coalition urges the Prime Minister to work with them to fully understand the wide-reaching consequences of his decision to ban American bully XLs, which will have significant impacts on owners, the animal welfare sector, vets, law enforcement and the public.
“It is also critical that any policy designed to protect public safety is based on robust evidence and we are deeply concerned about the lack of data behind this decision and its potential to prevent dog bites.”