The Government’s Crackdown on Dangerous Dogs and the Ban on American XL Bullies
The Government is taking decisive action to address concerns over dangerous dogs, including the imminent ban on American XL Bullies. There is growing alarm over the existing loopholes in the law, which allow individuals to keep banned breeds such as pitbulls. To tackle this issue, the Government plans to introduce legislation that will ban XL Bullies by the end of this year. In addition, Environment Secretary Therese Coffey intends to establish an expert group comprising police, canine and veterinary experts, as well as animal welfare stakeholders, to define the breed and ensure its inclusion in the Dangerous Dogs Act.
New Legislation and the Definition of XL Bullies
The ban on XL Bullies will become an offense to own an unregistered dog of this breed, as well as to breed, gift, or sell one. Therese Coffey aims to have the necessary legislation in place by the end of this year. During a one-year transition period, owners of XL Bullies will have the opportunity to register their dogs, subject to certain conditions. These conditions include keeping the animal on a lead and muzzle at all times. Failure to register will result in the dog being euthanized after the transition period. The intent behind the Dangerous Dogs Act is to phase out banned breeds gradually by requiring them to be neutered, prohibiting their breeding and importation. However, the presence of a significant number of still-registered pitbulls suggests that either banned breeding is occurring or that proper identification of these dogs is challenging for authorities.
The Review of Guidance and the Exempted Dogs
The number of so-called exempted dogs, which are allowed under certain conditions like being muzzled and neutered, has increased over the past decade. This rise goes against the original intention of the legislation introduced over 30 years ago. In light of this, the Government plans to review the guidance provided to enforcers of the law. It is crucial that the courts and law enforcement have clear and consistent guidelines to ensure compliance with the legislation. No. 10 has acknowledged the need to safely manage the existing population of dangerous dogs and has stated that the details of how this will be accomplished will be addressed through consultation and involve a transition period.
Ensuring Public Safety and Animal Welfare
The Government’s actions are driven by concerns for public safety and the welfare of animals. The proposed ban on XL Bullies, along with the review of guidance and enforcement measures, aims to address the loopholes in the existing law that allow banned breeds to remain in circulation. By defining XL Bullies as a banned breed and ensuring stricter regulations, the Government hopes to gradually reduce the prevalence of these dogs in the UK. The expert group’s involvement, consisting of professionals in various fields related to canine behavior, veterinary science, and law enforcement, will ensure a comprehensive approach to defining the breed and implementing the necessary legislation.
The Government’s crackdown on dangerous dogs and the imminent ban on American XL Bullies demonstrate a firm commitment to public safety and the welfare of animals. By addressing the existing loopholes in the law and defining XL Bullies as a banned breed, the Government aims to gradually phase out these dogs from the UK. Through expert input, clear legislation, and stricter enforcement measures, the Government aims to ensure that the dangerous dog population is effectively managed and that public safety is prioritized. This comprehensive approach will empower authorities to take the necessary actions to protect both humans and animals from the potential risks associated with dangerous dog breeds.