SNP accused of ‘political games’ over XL Bully ban as owners seek sanctuary in Dundee

The SNP government has been accused of playing “political games” after failing to adopt a ban on XL Bully dogs which has come into force in England and Wales.

From February 1, it will become a criminal offence to own an XL Bully type dog without an exemption certificate south of the border.

A ban on breeding and selling the breed is already in force there.

Owners who do not successfully obtain an exemption certificate will be forced to have their pet euthanised or risk committing an offence.

But the Scottish Government has so far refused to adopt a similar timetable for the ban introduced by the Conservative government.

XL Bully owners seek sanctuary in Dundee

The loophole led to owners of the breed to seek sanctuary in Scotland.

One woman has already revealed plans to establish a rescue centre for the dogs in Dundee.

Dundee-based MSP Maurice Golden said the Holyrood government should recognise the “urgency” of the situation.

He told The Courier: “The suspicion is the SNP has failed to introduce a ban for no other reason than it wants to be different to the UK.

“But this is a serious matter and can’t be subjected to political games.

The dogs are controversial after a number of serious attacks. Image: Shutterstock

“The UK Government’s measures are useful in the short term, but the situation also requires longer-term measures put in place around responsible dog ownership.

“Either way, the Scottish Government needs to accept the urgency of this situation and make a swift decision.”

Asked about the English ban, a Scottish Government spokesman said: “Any change to the rules on XL Bully dogs must be evidenced-based and we are carefully considering the evidence so we can make the right decision for Scotland, with public safety paramount.

Strict control in Scotland

“Scotland already has a strict dog control notice regime applying to any type of dog, which is unique in the UK and focussed on preventing dog attacks from happening in the first place.

“In addition, licences are required for those who, subject to certain criteria, breed dogs, operate animal rescue centres or are involved in rehoming animals.

“The UK Government controls on XL Bully dogs in England and Wales occurred without any notice to the Scottish Government and Ministers expect the UK Government to act responsibly and ensure there is no impact on Scotland of this decision to impose this decision without notice.”

Read more about the Bully ban law:


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