Police seize 22 XL Bully dogs from illegal breeding farm in Sheffield in huge raid

4 May 2024, 12:11

22 XL Bully dogs were seized from the Sheffield allotment
22 XL Bully dogs were seized from the Sheffield allotment. Picture: Alamy

By Will Conroy

Police have seized 22 dogs from a suspected illegal XL Bully breeding farm in Sheffield.

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The animals, including mothers and pups, were discovered on Thursday on an allotment, in conditions described by officers as “appalling”.

Six of the dogs were put to sleep due to the poor health they were found in while the remaining 16 are being kept in police kennels, according to a South Yorkshire police spokesperson.

The ownership of American Bully XL dogs is restricted under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 while it has been illegal to sell, give away, abandon or breed the dogs since 31 December 2023.

Chief Inspector Cheney, who is in charge of the force's response to dangerous dogs, said: “We do not know how long some of the dogs have been living in these conditions, with female dogs having litters of puppies, while in their own suffering state.

“Following the XL Bully ban put in place earlier this year, it is now against the law to breed the dogs.

“Separate to the investigation around these dogs being XL Bullys, animal cruelty and suffering will not be tolerated within South Yorkshire, and we will continue to work with partners to ensure those responsible are put before the courts.

“Sadly, six dogs had to be put to sleep. The remaining 16 dogs remain in police kennels while our investigation continues.”

Read more: Man, 40, becomes first person in UK to be prosecuted for owning unregistered XL Bully under new laws

Read more: Father, 37, mauled to death by XL Bully had 'worst injuries doctor had seen' from 15-minute attack

The breeding facility was discovered by police officers and officials from the council’s animal health team at the Infield Lane allotment site, off Greenland Road. 

Specialist help from Dog Legislation Officers and the RSPCA was drafted in to remove the dogs from the site described as “small, inadequate (and) unhygienic”.

Police said a suspect has been identified while enquiries into the site are ongoing.

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