Scotland will not be following England and Wales in banning American XL Bullies by the end of the year, the Scottish government has said.
In a video on Facebook, Siobhian Brown, the Minister for Victims and Community Safety, said that the motion to ban the breed was announced with “no notice to the Scottish government” and with ” no public consultation”.
She added: “With no strong evidence to ban this dog breed in Scotland, I have decided that such a ban would not be introduced in Scotland on the timing set for England and Wales.
“This week and in the coming weeks, I am meeting many stakeholders regarding this issue. Just this week alone, I met with the SSPCA, Dogs’ Trust, the National Dog Warden Association, the Dog Control Coalition, and a Dog Clinical Behaviourist, which was absolutely fascinating.”
She explained that the Scottish dog database went live in February 2022 bringing together all the records from local authorities and the police across Scotland making all the data easily accessible. The database also displays numbers on dangerous dog incidents, but American XL Bullies “at the moment are not even in the top ten”, Brown said.
Brown also reposted the Scottish SPCA’s statement on X, in a sign that the SMP endorses the body’s preference for prevention and implementation of tougher penalties for owners not in control of their dogs, rather than a ban on breeds.
The statement read: “We have serious concerns about the very short amount of time in which owners have to comply with the rules, especially as the Government is yet to release information on how owners can register their dogs.
“We are also concerned about Defra’s definition of an American Bully XL type, which is not only hugely subjective and open to interpretation for the individuals enforcing this legislation – creating a lack of consistency across the country – but it also places a burden on owners to interpret the guidance and determine whether their dog is or is not an ‘American Bully XL type’. “