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'It's driving strong emotions': Thérèse Coffey sent death threats over XL Bully ban
27 November 2023, 20:42 | Updated: 27 November 2023, 22:34
Thérèse Coffey has received death threats in response to the XL Bully ban.
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The former environment secretary said that the decision to ban the breed "is not being considered lightly and a lot of care and attention is being given to the detail" in a Westminster debate on Monday.
This comes after MPs warned against the unfair targeting of the breed and urged ministers to do a "wholesale" review of dangerous dogs.
Coffey detailed the death threats and reiterated the reasons why the government introduced the ban: "In terms of emotions, I must admit I've had several death threats about this particular legislation that's been brought into place and I'm conscious it is driving strong emotions.
"But what I will say is the Government took an approach that would allow time for people to rehome, if they feel they could not keep an XL Bully type dog.
"The reality was that there were simply too many attacks happening and the proportion of attacks happening by XL Bully-type dogs was considerably higher than others," she said.
The Conservative MP continued: "And yes, I'm sure we've all read about whether it is a Collie or a Jack Russell or potentially a Rottweiler has also been involved in many attacks."
"We must remember the reason why we are taking this approach at all. It is to try and stop attacks and people read about these every week. They're happening all over the country", she concluded.
From December 31, 2023, breeding, selling, advertising, rehoming, abandoning and allowing an XL Bully dog to stray will be illegal.
XL Bully dogs must also be muzzled and on a lead in public from then.
From February 1, 2024, it becomes a criminal offence to own one unless it is on a list of exempted dogs.
Ms Coffey's comments about her death threats come after she resigned from Rishi Sunak's cabinet, saying she "nearly died" from the stress of being a government minister previously.
She told BBC Radio Suffolk she was nearly admitted to a hospital after "working into the ground".
"Nearly five years ago I got so ill, I nearly, dare I say it, died," she said.
"I was in hospital for a month with some of the stresses that happen with ministerial life," she added.