Scottish XL bully owners face backlash for challenging new restrictions

What are the new restrictions?

The Scottish government has recently imposed new restrictions on American XL bully-type dogs, which have been linked to a series of attacks across the UK. The new rules, which came into force on 31 July 2023, require owners of the breed to:

  • Muzzle the animals and keep them on a lead in public
  • Apply for an exemption certificate, which includes having them microchipped and neutered
  • Abstain from breeding, exchanging or selling the dogs

The new restrictions are similar to those introduced by the UK government in England and Wales last year, which created a “loophole” that allowed people to move XL bullies to Scotland. The Scottish government said it had to close the loophole to ensure community safety.

Why are some owners unhappy?

Some owners of XL bullies are unhappy with the new restrictions and have formed a group called Scottish XL Bully Owners United (SXBOUT) to challenge them legally. They claim that the new rules are unclear, unfair and will criminalise innocent dog owners.

SXBOUT said that the term “American XL bully-type” is vague and does not correspond to any recognised breed. They also said that the restrictions are based on the appearance of the dogs, rather than their behaviour or temperament. They argued that XL bullies are not inherently dangerous and that responsible ownership is the key to preventing attacks.

Scottish XL bully owners face backlash

SXBOUT said that they have hired top lawyers to file a judicial review against the Scottish government and seek an injunction to suspend the new restrictions until the case is heard. They said that they have received support from hundreds of XL bully owners across Scotland and the UK.

What do animal welfare groups say?

Animal welfare groups have criticised SXBOUT for trying to defy the new restrictions and have urged XL bully owners to comply with the law. They said that the new rules are necessary to protect the public and the dogs themselves from harm.

The Scottish SPCA said that it supports the new restrictions and that it has seen an influx of XL bullies to Scotland since the UK government brought in controls on the dogs south of the border. It said that XL bullies are often bred and sold illegally, and that some of them suffer from health problems and behavioural issues due to poor breeding practices.

The Dogs Trust said that it does not endorse any specific breed or type of dog, but that it recognises that some dogs pose a greater risk than others. It said that it supports measures that promote responsible dog ownership and that it offers advice and support to XL bully owners who want to comply with the new restrictions.

How have the public reacted?

The public reaction to the new restrictions and the legal challenge by SXBOUT has been mixed. Some people have expressed sympathy for XL bully owners who face losing their pets or having to pay for expensive procedures. They have also questioned the effectiveness of the new rules in preventing dog attacks and suggested that education and awareness campaigns would be more beneficial.

Others have supported the new restrictions and condemned SXBOUT for putting their own interests above public safety. They have also pointed out the dangers of XL bullies, citing examples of fatal attacks by the dogs in the UK and abroad. They have also accused SXBOUT of being selfish and irresponsible for breeding and owning “Frankenstein dogs” that have no place in society.

By Zane Lee

Zane Lee is a talented content writer at Cumbernauld Media, specializing in the finance and business niche. With a keen interest in the ever-evolving world of finance, Zane brings a unique perspective to his articles and blog posts. His in-depth knowledge and research skills allow him to provide valuable insights and analysis on various financial topics. Zane's passion for writing and his ability to simplify complex concepts make his content engaging and accessible to readers of all levels.

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