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Charity’s urgent plea to rehome four XL bullies before deadline

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The next phase of the Scottish government’s two-stage approach to legal safeguards will come into force on 31 July when it will be an offence to own an XL bully without having or applied for an exemption certificate.

Community Safety Minister Siobhian Brown outlined the changes in a letter, external to Holyrood’s criminal justice committee.

The Scottish government has not yet made information available on the cost of an exemption certificate or how to apply.

Penalties for breaching the new safeguards are up to six months imprisonment and or a fine up to £5,000.

SSPCA head of animal behaviour, Claire Haynes said: “After an enhanced assessment, Duchess and Praline meet the physical conformation standards of an ‘XL bully type breed’. Paddington and Lex are still to be formally assessed, but could be typed as XL bully dogs.

“The new registered owners will be required to obtain a certificate of exemption and to comply with all necessary legal requirements, which will include keeping the dog on a lead and muzzled at all times when out in public, including in a car, and maintaining third party insurance.

“We continue to call for the principle of Deed not Breed, external to be applied, and for the outdated Dangerous Dogs legislation to be overhauled. Any breed of dog can be potentially out of control and dangerous in the wrong hands.”

The Scottish government has been contacted for comment.

Information on rehoming can be found on the Scottish SPCA website, external.

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