Humza Yousaf explains stance on XL Bully ban in Scotland

First Minister Humza Yousaf says he doesn’t think a controversial ban on XL Bully dogs will be required in Scotland.

Mr Yousaf told reporters on Friday the situation is under review, and claimed there was already a strict regime on the control of animals in Scotland.

It comes after a ban on breeding XL bullies came into force in England and Wales, as well as a legal requirement for anyone with one of the dogs to muzzle them in public.

From February, it will become a criminal offence south of the border to own an XL Bully without a certificate of exemption. One of the conditions is that the animal is neutered.

Powers over the list of banned breeds in Scotland rests with the Scottish Government, which has so far failed to replicate the rules brought in by the UK Government.

The current ban does not apply in Scotland. Image: Shutterstock

The situation prompted some owners to bring their dogs to Scotland. One woman suggested she will establish a rescue centre in Dundee.

Asked about the apparent loophole, Mr Yousaf said: “We do have a very controlled regime when it comes to the management of animals, control of dogs.

“That is something that is quite unique in Scotland compared to other parts of the UK.

“We’re still keeping a potential ban under review, but we don’t think it is required given the strict regime that we have in place at the moment.

What are the laws in Scotland?

New legislation known as the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act came into force in 2010. It sets out the responsibilities of dog owners and how they can be enforced.

It includes powers for a dog control notice to be issued, setting out what an owner must do to bring their dog under control.

Any who does not follow the notice commits a crime which could result in a fine of up to £1,000 and a ban on owning a dog.

If the dog is dangerous it could also be euthanised.

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