XL Bullies will not face a cull, Britain's top animal adviser confirms amid fears for dogs' future after ban

16 September 2023, 10:54

XL Bullies will not be culled, the chief veterinary officer said
XL Bullies will not be culled, the chief veterinary officer said. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

XL Bullies will not be culled as the government bans them following a spate of attacks.

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The UK's chief veterinary officer said the dogs would not be destroyed and they will instead be registered, with owners given conditions for keeping them.

Christine Middlemiss said: "There will be an amnesty. So people that already have these dogs - and some of them will be well socialised, well managed, well trained - you will need to register and take certain actions.

"Your dog will need to be neutered. It will need to be muzzled when out in public and on a lead and insured.

Read more: XL Bullies tried to rip apart my niece, 2, 'like a tug of war': Miraculous survival of girl savaged by five dogs

"But if you comply with these actions, and that means we'll know where these dogs are, which will be a massive benefit, then yes, absolutely you will be able to keep your dog."

Owners have been left fearing for their pets' welfare as they insist the powerful dogs are normally good natured and well behaved.

XL Bullies are soon to be banned
XL Bullies are soon to be banned. Picture: Alamy

Campaigners have been calling for a ban on XL Bullies which have been associated with a number of vicious attacks.

Most recently, Ian Price died after two XL bully dogs attacked him in Stonnall, Staffordshire on Thursday afternoon.

Price, a dog owner himself who ran an art repair business, died after being mauled by the dogs, which police said are believed to be XL Bullies.

Read more: Two-year amnesty for XL Bully dog: Outright ban to 'hit owners in 2025 as pets must meet criteria or be put down'

A witness told The Sun: "It was so awful I can barely talk about it.

"They got through the hedge behind the house and appeared in the elderly lady's garden. Her son had gone out to protect her.

Christine Middlemiss said XL Bully owners will be able to keep their dogs
Christine Middlemiss said XL Bully owners will be able to keep their dogs. Picture: Government

"Both dogs set on him. They were in a frenzy. Eventually... one brave man... got one of the dogs off - but by then it had been going on for 15 to 20 minutes."

The dogs owner turned up later - with his baby daughter - just as police arrived. He was arrested.

Rishi Sunak confirmed the breed would be banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act - joining Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentinos and Fila Brasileiros.

"These dogs are dangerous, I want to reassure the public that we will take all necessary steps to keep people safe," he said.

The breed will need to be properly defined before they can be banned and ministers will work with police and experts to draw up a proper definition.