XL Bully dogs to be banned in Scotland after owners cross border to beat new rules

XL Bully dogs will be banned in Scotland after owners in England took their pets there to dump them to get round new licensing controls south of the border.

Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf confirmed the Scottish Government would “in essence replicate” UK legislation banning XL bully dogs without a licence.

Legislation banning owning the American breed was introduced last year after a spate of attacks in which the dogs killed or injured people.

On 31 December, it became compulsory for all bully XLs to be kept on a lead and muzzled in public. It is also illegal to breed, sell, advertise, give, exchange or abandon the dogs or let them stray.

Next month, it will be criminal offence to own an XL bully dog in England and Wales without a certificate.

Thousands of XL Bully owners have already received exemption certificates. Others will need to apply for a certificate of exemption before 31 January.

Mr Yousaf said the decision to replicate the Dangerous Dogs Act would be taken pending a parliamentary statement next week after an influx of dogs being abandoned north of the border.

He said at First Minister’s Question’s: “What has become clear, I’m afraid in the last few weeks, is we have seen a flow of XL bully dogs coming to Scotland, a number of people coming to Scotland to bring XL bully dogs here to the country.

“As such, we will give further details to members of the Scottish Parliament through a parliamentary statement if the Parliamentary Bureau agrees next week.

“We will, in essence, replicate the legislation that is in England and Wales here in Scotland, because ultimately, although we do have a very good system of dog-control notice schemes, and we do take the approach indeed not to breed, we have to respond to the situation as it currently stands and therefore we will do what we need to do to ensure public safety.”

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