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Scotland’s XL bully owners warned of new rules

XL bully dog owners will be required to ensure their dog is muzzled

Lucinda Cameron
PA Scotland
Monday 19 February 2024 12:13 GMT
An XL Bully dog
An XL Bully dog (PA Wire)

Owners of XL bully dogs in Scotland are being urged to prepare for new safeguarding rules which are expected to come into force on Friday.

From February 23, it will be illegal to sell, advertise, give as a gift or exchange such dogs, or let them stray, under the new laws expected to be approved by the Scottish Parliament later this week.

XL bully dog owners will also be required to ensure their dog is muzzled and on a lead while in a public place.

A second stage of safeguards due to come in later this year will mean that from August 1 it will be an offence to own an XL bully without an exemption certificate or without having applied for an exemption certificate.

Anyone convicted of breaching the new safeguards could face up to six months behind bars and/or a fine of up to £5,000.

It comes following concerns over an influx of XL bullies to Scotland since the UK Government brought in controls on the dogs south of the border last year.


Siobhian Brown, Scotland’s minister for victims and community safety, said: “With new safeguards for XL bully dogs coming into force in just a few days it’s vital that owners get ready and prepare from them now.

“Whilst dog attacks remain a rare occurrence, where they do occur, they can have devastating consequences which is why safeguards must be introduced.

“We are doing so whilst ensuring we promote and support responsible ownership, and public safety as effectively as possible.

“The new regulations aim to protect public safety and are being introduced as a consequence of similar XL bully controls brought in by the UK Government, which created an unacceptable risk of dogs being moved to Scotland from England and Wales.”

The Scottish Government said that full details on the exemption applications process and the support available will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Criminal Justice Committee will take evidence from Ms Brown on Wednesday.

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