Scotland is to consider introducing a ban on American XL bully dogs, but there is no timescale on when a final decision will be made.
Although the Dangerous Dogs Act is a UK-wide piece of legislation, Scotland is able to make its own amendments when it comes to the specifics of the legislation.
Scottish government officials have already met with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and officials from Wales and Northern Ireland to discuss and hear more about the UK government’s approach.
Siobhan Brown, Community Safety Minister, told the Scottish Parliament that the UK government was planning to set-up an expert group to specify a legal definition of the American bully XL and a possible Scottish ban would be informed on that decision.
She said: “What matters here is a careful, evidence-based decision which is focused on protecting public safety.
“We are committed to giving full consideration to the issue and to ensure we arrive at the correct decision. It’s clear from the UK government’s announcement that there is a wide range views on this area from experts and members of the public, and it’s imperative as we move forward that we will consider all voices.”
In response, Jamie Greene MSP, said: “I welcome the UK government’s swift response to these tragic incidents, but we need a decision from the Scottish government as to when these dogs will be banned in Scotland. Otherwise there’s a danger of cross-border breeding or smuggling. We know that criminal gangs dangerously breed these dogs.
“It was disappointing that the minister couldn’t give a timescale as to when these dogs will be banned in Scotland. For the sake of public safety and clarity, we need an answer urgently.”