Calls to speed up the introduction of Scotland’s XL Bully ban have been made in the wake of further attacks, and as the breed continues to be moved to the country.
Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has faced criticism for not matching the ban in England and Wales. It will not become an offence to own an XL Bully without an exemption in Scotland until July 31.
The calls come following the death of Esther Martin, who was mauled to death by two dogs in Essex.
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton, said: “Ministers were already delayed in bringing forward a ban and their prevarication allowed many more of these dogs to be shipped to Scotland.
“Devastating attacks like these emphasise the urgency of the situation. The Scottish government must now act swiftly and close any loopholes so that no dangerous dog slips through the net.”
Labour MSP Pauline McNeill added: “With serious reports of dangerous dog attacks being recorded across Scotland, the need for action to keep people safe could not be clearer.
“We cannot have members of the public and workers being put in harms way due to a lack of legislation. It is time for the SNP government to act.”
In response, Minister for Victims and Community Safety Siobhian Brown, said: “Our sympathies are with the family of Esther Martin following this horrific incident.
“We have laid legislation to introduce new safeguards on XL Bully dogs which will come into force on 23 February, subject to approval by Parliament, and we encourage all owners get ready for the changes.”