Merseyside rescue centre inundated with calls about American XL Bully dogs following ban plans

Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre say they’re worried the ban will lead to them having a centre full of XL Bullies.
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A local animal rescue centre has spoken out about plans to ban XL Bulldogs.

Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre say they’re worried the ban will lead to them having a centre full of XL Bullies, which will mean less space to rehome other dogs in need. There’s also concern owners will simply abandon their pets.

Director of Freshfields Animal Rescue Emma Jensen said: “A ban is just not going to work. I can understand why it would seem initially like it would work because it does sound quite sensible on the surface of things, but anyone that knows the sector will understand the ban on the dog is not the area where the problem is.”

“Dogs will need to go into kennels while they’re assessed. Where are those those kennels? All the rescues are chocker already. Then they’ve got to go to court to actually confirm if it’s a dangerous dog or not. The courts can’t cope already with amount of work they’ve got. So, where is the capacity going to come from? Where is the funding going to come from?”

The Prime Minister announced the government plans to ban the American XL bully by the end of the year. Rishi Sunak said the breed is “a danger to our communities” following a spate of recent attacks involving the breed, including here on Merseyside.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, bans the breeding, sale and exchange of certain breeds. Currently, four breeds are banned in the UK; the Pit Bull Terrier, the Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Dila Brasileiro. The government is looking to add the XL Bully to this list but an issue with banning the bully is it is not a recognised breed by the Kennel Club.

Freshfields Animal Rescue advice on XL Bullies

  • Muzzle train your dog. Ensure you pick the right muzzle and that they wear them in public places; that includes your car. 
  • Neutering/spaying your dog will be a legal requirement. If your dog is too young to neuter, arrange an appointment in advance and note the details for proof of your plans.
  • Use a lead that is no longer than 1.5m. Keep your dog on its lead in public places.
  • Get 3rd party liability insurance cover. Check with your provider or the Dogs Trust.
  • Start working with your dog now to ensure basic training is in place and behavioural issues are addressed.

They say they’ll be keeping their website up to date with information concerning the legislation.