AN animal charity has provided advice for XL Bully owners as the second stage in the government’s rollout to ban the breed has commenced.

The government added XL bully dogs to the Dangerous Dog Act on October 31 and took a staggered approach to permanently banning the breed, giving owners two months to prepare for the first stage.

December 31 saw the first stage commence making it a legal requirement for all XL Bully dogs to be kept on a lead and muzzled when in public. It is also illegal to breed, sell, advertise, gift, exchange, abandon or let XL Bully dogs stray.

Dogs Trust, which has a rehoming centre in Basildon, has provided an update on their status with XL bullies.

A spokesman for Dogs Trust said: “Across all of our rehoming centres, we currently have a small number of dogs in our care who have been put forward for review as potential however this number may change as our staff continue their assessments.

“Since the ban was announced, we have seen a slight increase in the number of calls we are receiving from people who are enquiring about relinquishing crossbreeds which include bull crossbreeds.

“However, we have no way of knowing how many of those dogs are potential American Bully XL types as this number will also include Staffie crosses, English Bulldog crosses etc.

“We have seen an increase in the number of American Bully XL owners who are calling us to seek advice and information on the new rules, and what they need to do to comply with these rules.”

Dogs Trust made an initial decision to stop rehoming XL bullies last October following a spate of attacks.

These attacks included a Basildon incident. as a Dogs Trust staff member was attacked on hospitalised on October 5.

In light of the new restrictions, Dogs Trust will be providing further assistance to owners to ensure compliance.

The Dogs Trust spokesman added: “Since the ban was announced by the government, we have been supporting American Bully XL type dog owners with advice, guidance and free training, to help them best prepare for the impending ban, and give them the best chance of being able to keep their dog once the government enforces its ban.” 

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