Sky News exclusively revealed that a ban set to take effect at the year’s end will result in the euthanasia of at least 246 XL bully dogs, currently housed in rescue centres operated by prominent organizations like RSPCA, Blue Cross, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs Trust, and Mayhew.
The ban, implemented in two phases, prohibits the lawful rehoming or sale of XL bullies after December 31. This decision comes in response to a series of recent attacks and fatalities involving the breed. Any XL bully in English and Welsh rescue centres must be euthanized unless rehomed before the year’s end.
Despite the option for rescuers to seek exemptions, allowing the breed to live out its life in a kennel, charities express concerns about the welfare implications of this choice. Pet owners are required to muzzle and leash their dogs in public from January 1, with an exemption application window until February for owning a banned breed.
The Association of Dogs and Cats Homes notes that the 246 slated for euthanasia represent less than half of all rescued XL bullies in the UK. The cost to charities for destroying these dogs could exceed £90,000, with Blue Cross estimating £350 to £400 per euthanasia due to increased cremation costs and the need for additional euthanasia drugs for larger dogs.
Charities express dismay at the prospect of euthanizing healthy dogs, emphasizing the challenging situation faced by veterinarians. The government offers £200 compensation to XL bully owners opting for euthanasia, but Blue Cross emphasizes that this doesn’t replace the emotional loss of a beloved pet.
Additionally, the neutering requirement by February puts strain on rescue charities, with Blue Cross planning to neuter over 1,000 XL bullies. Concerns are raised about the potential overwhelming demands on rescue centers and the veterinary profession due to these stringent regulations. Stray XL bullies picked up by pounds will also face euthanasia under the ban’s requirements.