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Hope for XL Bullies? Judicial review challenges Government’s ban

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The recent approval for a hearing to reconsider the Government’s ban on XL Bully dogs has sparked optimism among the breed’s enthusiasts and owners.

As reported by GoFido in November, the new legislation stipulates that all existing XL Bullies would have to be registered, microchipped, neutered, leashed, and muzzled when out in public places, with 3rd party insurance also becoming a requirement. Further breeding of the breed will also be outlawed.

But the “Don’t Ban Me – License Me” campaign, a non-profit group fighting against breed specific legislation, has managed to obtain a judicial review, that is set for later this month, which will check if the Government’s is legal and fair.

Advocating for better dog training and licensing instead of outright bans, this group has gained the support of over 600,000 people via a petition. Their opinion is supported by many industry experts, including Dr. Samantha Gaines, the RSPCA’s deputy head of companion animal welfare and an expert in kennelled dogs. She stated, “The ban on XL Bullies not only remains devastating for so many dogs, but is also taking a heavy toll on owners, on rescue centre staff who have grown close to dogs in their care, and to veterinary teams who face the prospect of being asked to put to sleep healthy dogs whose behaviour poses no risk.”

From 1 February 2024, it will become illegal for owners to have an unregistered XL Bully dog. Currently, there are approximately 15,000 Bully XLs in the UK, but only about 4,000 have been officially registered.

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