An American Bully Walking on the Shore of a Beach

Dog Control Coalition urges PM to delay American XL Bully ban

The Dog Control Coalition has urged the Prime Minister to delay the introduction of the ban on XL Bully dogs scheduled to come into force on 31 December 2023.

In an open letter to Rishi Sunak, the Dog Control Coalition – consisting of Battersea, Blue Cross, British Veterinary Association, Dogs Trust, Hope Rescue, PDSA, RSPCA, Scottish SPCA, The Kennel Club and USPCA – has called on the Government to extend what it described as an “unnecessarily short deadline” for the ban to come into force to help owners, rescue centre staff and vet teams prepare.

The letter goes on to list the bodies’ concerns, including lack of communication that risks owners being unaware of what they need to do, along with “inadequate financial support” for owners to comply with the exemption.

Moreover, the coalition mentions that with the exact numbers of XL Bully dogs not known, it is “unclear” whether the vets have the capacity to neuter the estimated tens of thousands of dogs to comply with the ban.

The rescue sector is another concern, with the letter highlighting that it faces “the very real risk of dogs being dumped in large numbers, leaving the rescue sector, already full to bursting, having to pick up the pieces”.

Finally, the bodies said, the uncertainty is compounded by lack of available enforcement support from the police, with concerns about the “limited” availability of Dog Legislation Officers to tackle the expected increased demand for their services.

Elsewhere the letter says there is no clear guidance on how to manage puppies in rehoming centres, as dogs can only be assessed as an XL Bully type when fully mature.

The letter read: “We urgently need more information and support from the Government so that we can help support owners and dogs affected by this ban and we, the rescue sector of the coalition will also need help and support to get through this too.”

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