American XL bullies will be added to the list of banned dogs from the end of this year, the UK Government has confirmed.
The announcement follows several attacks by the breed in recent years which resulted in numerous deaths.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced last month that his administration would ban the dogs by the end of the year by adding them to the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Sunak previously described the breed as “a danger to communities” after a man died in September after a “suspected” attack by two of the dogs in Staffordshire.
New rules due to come into force on December 31 will make it illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon or allow XL bully dogs to stray in England and Wales.
From the same date, owners will also be required to muzzle the dogs.
Under the laws which were laid in Parliament on Tuesday, it will also be illegal to own an XL bully from February 1, 2024, unless it is on a list of exempted dogs.
The requirements on the exemption list include a requirement from owners to keep their pets muzzled, neutered, microchipped and kept on a lead at all times in public.
Environment secretary Therese Coffey said ministers had taken “quick and decisive action to protect the public from tragic dog attacks”.
She added: “We will continue to work closely with the police, canine and veterinary experts, and animal welfare groups, as we take forward these important measures.”
Not all animal charities are in favour of a ban, with the environment secretary confirming that the RSPCA had pulled out of a consultation about the definition of the dog type.
The animal welfare charity is part of the Dog Control Coalition, along with the likes of the Dogs Trust and the British Veterinary Association, which put out a statement following Sunak’s announcement in September, arguing that a ban “will sadly not stop” the attacks.
Critics have argued that the XL bully is not strictly a breed and would be difficult to define.
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