Saturday 4 November 2023

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home will defy British law after December 31 and rehome American bully XL dogs

NEWS AND COMMENT - UK: On December 1, 2023, it will be a criminal offence to breed, sell, advertise, rehome, abandon American XL bully dogs or allow them to stray. Owners of American XL bully dogs will be required to keep them on a lead and muzzle at all times in a public place and the dog should be in a secure place when at home.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Photo: Architects Journal.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and Blue Cross, both top animal charities, the former being perhaps the best-known animal charity in the world in terms of rehoming rescue animals both cats and dogs, have said that they will continue rehoming the breed despite the new rules. They plan to defy the criminal law which is extraordinary.

They disagree with the new law. And they are not the only people who do because the argument is this: the problems with American XL Bully dogs is not that they are a dangerous breed per se -although, as I recall, they are not a registered breed with a recognised kennel club. The problem is the people who are involved with breeding them and owning them. That's the problem area.

Secondly, the argument is that because each individual American XL bully dog is not registered in a kennel club studbook, the only way you can identify them is through their appearance, which is very dubious. It's very difficult because there are hybrids of this dog. They are crossed with other dog breeds and the argument is that it is almost impossible to identify with accuracy an American XL bully by appearance alone. It'll be a nightmare for the police.

American XL Bully
American XL Bully. Image believed to be in the public domain.

I believe that that is the argument of these charities. Anna Wade, the public affairs manager at Blue Cross, said: "Any dog can be dangerous and by stigmatising one breed you are sending out the wrong message."

That point has been made before as well namely that a little cute French Bulldog can be dangerous and bite people under the right circumstances, background and experiences.

Blue Cross has estimated that about between 50,000 and hundred thousand dogs might be affected by the new rules.

Rishi Sunak, UK's Prime Minister, is determined to eradicate this "breed". As mentioned, it is not a formal breed as registered. He has described the dogs as a "danger to our communities" after an attack in Birmingham by a cross bred XL bully which injured two men and a girl aged 11.

We shall wait and see what happens because the question now is whether the authorities will prosecute these two charities which they will be able to do if the charities carry out their intentions. I don't think they will.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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