NEWS AND COMMENT-UK: This is a follow-up to the original American XL bully story which perhaps the world knows about now namely that the UK government is going to ban this type of dog (it is not a registered breed) following far too many attacks, maulings and killings of people and pets.
News also emerged that these dogs were being trained to be aggressive and given steroids and food supplements to bulk them. It is bad because the dogs are being abused to become weapons. A reminder that this story is really about people; the breeders and then the owners in doing something which is antisocial and I would argue a breach of animal welfare laws.
And now because of the near future ban, it’s reported that some American XL bully owners are panicking and “having their dogs destroyed” or dumping them at rescue centres which sounds very sinister. In effect the news media are saying is that they are taking their dogs to a veterinarian or a shelter and asking them to euthanise their dogs; a controlled, human killing.
But the point is that the UK government is not going to be culling American XL boy dogs en masse in one fell swoop. When the law comes in to ban this type of dog, they will give owners some leeway perhaps by regulating the ownership in insisting that they wear muzzles when out in public places and on a lead.
And they will probably let the dogs die a natural death in the ownership of these individuals. When the existing American bully XL dogs die of natural causes the ban will be complete and no new dogs will be created by breeders. It will be a gradual phasing out.
That, I think is the order of events in this ban in the UK. The short and long of it is that owners of these dogs don’t need to destroy them immediately. It appears that they are not reading the news about the ban and picking up on the nuances and how it will unfold.
One news media outlet online (the i) said that a former police dog handler, Mike Barnett, who runs Orion Dog Services said that the Prime Minister’s statement had caused confusion over the weekend and that many owners of this dog believed that they had been outlawed. That, by the way, I would argue is fairly true.
I think they have been outlawed or marginalised by the announcement by the Prime Minister. But they are mistaken in believing that their dogs are already banned which apparently some people believe. Because they feel mistakenly that their dogs are already banned, they are having them euthanised.
The complaint by some owners is that there is not enough information out there to explain how the ban is going to take place. They become confused and panic. And it appears, according to Mr Barnett that owners of other large dog breeds with a similar appearance are also panicking.
One owner of the XL bully said that they are heartbroken. They’ve been crying and had decided to move to Spain over the next six weeks to avoid the ban on our dogs. They said: “I’m heartbroken. I’ve been crying, they are taking everything away from me. I’m going to move to Spain in the next weeks to get out of this country, they are not taking my dogs away from me. I love my dogs. I would do anything for them. They’ve not done anything wrong. They’ve never harmed anybody. I feel sick, I put everything into these dogs. It’s my entire life. Nobody knows what to do. XL bully owners are getting rid of them. They’re neutering them. There needs to be more information to give people peace of mind.”