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Posted: 13th February 2024

Homes sought for XL bully dogs before law changes
Duchess, a three year-old XL bully, is among the dogs looking for a new home.
It will become illegal to rehome an XL bully in Scotland from 23 February.

The Scottish SPCA is urgently seeking new owners for four XL bully type dogs in its care before it becomes illegal to rehome them.

Two of the dogs in the charity’s care, Duchess and Praline, have been assessed as meeting the physical conformation standards of an XL bully. Paddington and Lex are still waiting to be fully assessed, but are believed to meet the criteria.

All four of the dogs have been microchipped, neutered and undergone health checks and behavioural assessments.

Jennie Macdonald, the charity’s head of rehoming, fostering and community engagement, said: “The process of ensuring they are ready for rehoming has been ongoing for some months while the situation in Scotland has been unclear.”

Although a ban on the breed was first announced by the UK government for England and Wales in September 2023, it wasn’t until January 2024 that the Scottish government said that it would introduce similar legislation.

From 23 February, it will be against the law in Scotland to rehome, breed, sell, exchange, gift, advertise, abandon, or allow an XL bully to stray. Owners will also have to follow new rules when their dog is in a public place. From 31 July 2024, it will be illegal to own an XL bully without an exemption certificate.

Claire Haynes, head of animal behaviour at the Scottish SPCA, said: “The new registered owners will be required to obtain a certificate of exemption and to comply with all necessary legal requirements, which will include keeping the dog on a lead and muzzled at all times when out in public, including in a car, and maintaining third party insurance.

“We continue to call for the principle of Deed not Breed to be applied, and for the outdated Dangerous Dogs legislation to be overhauled. Any breed of dog can be potentially out of control and dangerous in the wrong hands.”

Image © Scottish SPCA

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