South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Dr Alan Billings has welcomed clarity around the Government’s ban on the American Bully XL breed.
In September, following an increase in dog attacks, Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak announced an imminent ban on the breed.
From 31 December 2023 breeding, selling, advertising, rehoming, abandoning and allowing an XL Bully dog to stray will be illegal in England and Wales. XL Bully dogs must be muzzled and on a lead in public.
Welcoming the clarity around the ban, Dr Billings said: “Just this week we’ve had an XL Bully incident in South Yorkshire, which is yet another example of how dangerous this breed can be.
“I welcome today’s announcement, which will give breeders and owners a timeline to work with, including training their dogs to wear a muzzle and walk on a lead as well as stop mating the breed.
“This measure doesn’t solve the problem of dangerous dogs completely, but it is a step in the right direction and I thank the government for listening to people’s concerns and taking steps to prevent future deaths and serious injuries from this breed.
“This is an issue we identified a couple of years ago in South Yorkshire and I think the police here have led the way in raising the matter nationally. I also thank the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners for taking this up with ministers after I wrote to them about the dangers posed by this breed, especially after we emerged from lockdown.”
Following today’s announcement, owners who wish to keep their dogs will have until the end of January to register them and will be forced to comply with strict requirements. As well as being muzzled and kept on a lead in public, these dogs must also be microchipped and neutered.
Dogs under one year when the ban comes in must be neutered by the end of the year, older dogs must be neutered by the end of June.