Fears Rise As The UK's Ban On American XL Bully Draws Near, Dogs Risk Getting Euthanized

Fears Rise As The UK's Ban On American XL Bully Draws Near, Dogs Risk Being Euthanized

Home / News / Fears Rise As The UK's Ban On American XL Bully Draws Near, Dogs Risk Being Euthanized

By Favour Adegoke on December 27, 2023 at 8:35 PM EST
Updated on December 27, 2023 at 8:49 PM EST

The UK plans to ban American XL bully dogs by year-end, requiring leashing and muzzling in public from December 31 on. The ban prohibits breeding, selling, advertising, gifting, or abandoning such dogs.

Existing owners face new restrictions but won't see their pets culled, with neutering likely mandatory. The Chief Veterinary Officer emphasizes an "amnesty" approach, allowing compliance for dog retention.

Social media responses on TikTok have expressed frustration, concern, and skepticism about registration. Animal welfare groups also oppose the ban, while the Centre for Evidence-Based Regulation of Dangerous Dogs presents evidence supporting it.

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The UK To Ban The American XL Bully Dog Starting December 31

According to recent reports, the American XL bully dogs will be banned in the UK by the year-end due to a series of attacks.

Per the new rule, American XL bully dogs must be leashed and muzzled in public, and their breeding, selling, advertising, gifting, exchanging, or abandoning them become illegal. However, current owners reportedly won't face culling of their pets, but they'll likely encounter new restrictions, including mandatory neutering.

During the announcement, Chief Veterinary Officer Professor Christine Middlemiss mentioned an "amnesty" approach, resembling the past pit bull terrier ban under the Dangerous Dogs Act, requiring registration, neutering, muzzling, leashing, and insurance for compliance.

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According to The Independent, Middlemiss emphasized that owners who comply with the new restrictions will be allowed to keep their furry friend.

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Social Media Users React To The The American XL Bully Dog Ban

Following the announcement, social media users took to TikTok to share their opinions on the matter. One user expressed frustration, stating, "I hate how they think it's just this breed it's not the dog it's the trainers, so any dog could be aggressive why do these dogs have to pay their lives."

Another user voiced concern, writing, "I think the worst thing is putting the dog to sleep. Can't they just find a place for them to stay instead?"

A third person added, "I'd be sooooo concerned about registering my dog. They could change their minds and have a list of where to find them."

Heartbreak was evident in another comment: "NOOO why would anyone want their sweet baby to be euthanized [?] This breaks my heart so much."

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Another TikTok user questioned: "And when those irresponsible owners and breeders move on to other dog breeds, what is the plan?"

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Animal Welfare Groups Protest The American XL Bully Dog Ban

American XL Bully Ban

Before the ban on American XL bully dogs was passed, it faced opposition from animal welfare groups, arguing that the Dangerous Dogs Act has not curbed the increase in attacks since its introduction. The animal welfare groups claimed that the XL bully ban has diverted attention from addressing broader issues within the UK government.

However, organizations like the Centre for Evidence-Based Regulation of Dangerous Dogs (CEBRDD) argue that there is evidence supporting the breed's propensity for violence.

CEBRDD's research indicates an average of three fatalities per year from 2001 to 2021, with a significant increase in 2022, where ten people were killed, four being children, mostly attributed to XL bullies.

The research showed that despite representing less than 1% of UK dogs, the XL bully accounted for 44% of attacks in 2023 and 75% of deaths in the last three years.

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CEBRDD Co-Founder Says The Dog Ban Has Led To A 'Weird Culture War'

American XL Bully Ban

However,  co-founder of CEBRDD Benedict Treolar revealed that advocates of the XL bully have faced several challenges, including a barrage of abuse.

"Basically anyone who's been public facing on the policy side got a ton of abuse, some of that has spread off online into professional spaces," he shared, per The Guardian.

Treolar revealed that Lawrence Newport, a law lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, who is a member of CEBRDD, "has also been repeatedly threatened with people coming to his workplace."

The expert in mathematical science, statistics, and probability highlighted a "weird culture war" emerging between supporters of dangerous dog legislation and an unusual alliance involving animal welfare groups like the RSPCA, pro-hunting groups, and individuals seeking dangerous dogs as status pets.

Despite that, Treolar noted strong public support for the ban, adding: "It's just a very odd thing to turn into a big culture war, particularly given that the public overwhelmingly really is supportive of the ban."

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