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XL bully dogs won’t be culled, vet reassures

XL bully dogs won’t be culled, vet reassures

XL bully dog owners will be offered the chance to come forward as part of an 'amnesty' to register their dogs

The UK's chief veterinary officer has reassured there will not be a cull of American XL bully dogs after the Prime Minister announced a ban on the breed earlier this week.

While it will soon become illegal to own, breed or sell the dogs once they're officially added to the Dangerous Dogs Act, Christine Middlemiss has revealed there will be the opportunity of an 'amnesty,' in which owners can register their dogs and accept strict limitations, including wearing a muzzle at all times in public.

The ban comes after several attacks involving the breed, including the death of a man near Walsall on Thursday, 14 September.

Many dog owners have been left in fear over what will happen to their pets once the ban comes into the effect, however Professor Middlemiss confirmed the breed will not simply be culled.

"There will be an amnesty. So people that already have these dogs - and some of them will be well socialised, well managed, well trained - you will need to register and take certain actions," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"Your dog will need to be neutered. It will need to be muzzled when out in public and on a lead and insured.

XL bullys will be banned by the end of the year.
Getty/Zenna Pesnina

"But if you comply with these actions, and that means we'll know where these dogs are, which will be a massive benefit, then yes, absolutely you will be able to keep your dog."

While Rishi Sunak said the dogs would be banned by the end of the year, environment minister Mark Spencer, whose department is responsible for adding dogs to the banned list, has said it will "take a while" to ban the dogs.

He explained: "We're going to have to go through the process of identifying the characteristics of that dog, of that type of dog, and make sure that we don't encapsulate the wrong sort of dog in that process.

"So it's going to take a while, but we are, you know, we're committed to doing it.

XL Bully owners will be offered an 'amnesty'.
Getty Images

"And we'll try and get that that balance right between getting rid of those nasty dogs with the horrible characteristics, but protecting people's pets."

This should provide some reassurance for pet owners who have been left in fear over what might happen to their dogs, given that the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 gives police the right to seize and destroy dogs that feature on the list of banned dogs, unless owners are successful in applying for exemption.

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Featured Image Credit: Getty Images/Stock Photo

Topics: UK News, Dogs, Animals