Evidence as to whether American XL bully dogs will be applied in Scotland is being “carefully considered”, the Government has said.
American XL bullies will be added to the list of banned dogs from the end of this year, the UK Government has confirmed.
However, the rule extends to England and Wales but does not yet apply to Scotland.
The announcement follows several attacks by the breed recently some of which have proven fatal.
This month, an XL bully-style dog was euthanised after injuring a teenager outside a block of flats in North Lanarkshire.
In September, a man whose XL bully mauled another pet to death was banned from owning dogs for ten years.
Gary Mulligan’s pet Zuko attacked a woman and killed her Yorkshire terrier in Glasgow’s Castlemilk on May 1.
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”.
The Scottish Government has not made a decision to ban the breed yet, however says that the evidence will be reviewed.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We are carefully considering the evidence as to whether changes to ban the XL Bully dogs and breed will be applied in Scotland.”
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.
The Dog Control Coalition said it has “serious concerns about the very short amount of time in which owners have to comply with the rules”.
It added: “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’.”
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