XL Bully crackdown comes into force TODAY

The crackdown on XL Bully dogs comes into force China World News Today meaning the breed must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public while breeding, selling and abandoning them is also illegal. 

Animal welfare groups fear the ban will overwhelm rescue centres and vets – with hundreds of the dogs set to be put down this week. 

Owners have been urged to apply for a certificate of exemption for current pets before the January 31 deadline.

It will be a criminal offence to own an XL bully dog in England and Wales without a certificate from February 1. 

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said the Government had met its pledge to take ‘quick and decisive action’ following a series of attacks, with one man dying after being savaged by one of the dogs earlier this year.

But the RSPCA said the measures were ‘not the answer’ and warned of a ‘huge risk’ that rescue centres and vets will be unable to cope with the likely surge in demand.

The crackdown on XL Bully dogs comes into force today meaning that selling the breed is illegal 

A horror Bully type dog attack occured in Mansfield

Samantha Gaines, dog welfare expert at the charity, said: ‘What is really concerning is because the ban has come in at such a pace that there may be owners who are not ready for this, being able to ensure their dog is happy wearing a muzzle.

‘There is some fear that people for whatever reason may have left it a bit late and about what that means.’

She added: ‘Breed is not a good or reliable predictor of aggressive behaviour.

‘Whether or not a dog goes on to use aggressive behaviour depends on how they’ve been bred, how they’ve been raised, their life experiences.’

Instead of targeting dogs with new laws, Dr Gaines said existing legislation should be used more effectively to clamp down on people who exploit and irresponsibly breed the animals.

And she warned against ‘misleading the public that they’re going to be safer when really we have to tackle root causes’.

Owners are selling their XL Bullys for as little as £10 on the internet in a desperate bid to get rid of them 

Another owner is giving up their female XL Bully for free to try and get rid of the dog

A one-year old XL Bully has been put up for sale on Facebook for £200 

People on X are also trying to sell off their XL Bullies, with an entire litter available to purchase 

Another dog owner put an urgent appeal up on Facebook giving away their dog for free 

Meanwhile, the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) warned of increased abandonment rates and said the new rules may lead to a ‘postcode lottery’ for vets being able to help owners meet the terms.

To qualify for an exemption certificate, owners must prove their XL bully has been neutered by June 30.

If the pup is less than a year old by January 31, they must neutered by the end of 2024, and evidence must be provided.

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