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XL Bully ‘Ban’ Expands to Northern Ireland With New Muzzle Requirements

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The Northern Ireland government has announced several restrictions on XL Bully ownership following a string of severe and fatal attacks linked to this breed. These restrictions are similar to those already enforced in England, Wales, and Scotland.

Current XL Bully owners in Northern Ireland who aren’t interested in keeping their dogs anymore or don’t want to comply with these strict ownership rules can surrender their dogs to relevant authorities for euthanization.

Northern Ireland XL Bully dog ‘ban’ announced

Andrew Muir, Northern Ireland’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister, told BBC News that it would be illegal to breed, sell, abandon, or transfer ownership of this breed.

Furthermore, XL Bully owners in the region will now have to keep their animals muzzled and on a leash at all times when out in public. The Northern Ireland government also expects all XL Bully owners to neuter their canines in a move to curb the overpopulation of this restricted breed.

The top four breeds restricted in this region include Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentinos, and Fila Brasileiro, as per BBC.

Minister Muir also shared that they will soon unveil a registration scheme that will allow XL Bully owners to register their animals with the government and obtain an exemption certificate. With a certificate of exemption, owners found with an XL Bully amidst the restriction period will not face criminal charges.

Moreover, Muir noted there’s been over a 50% increase in the XL Bully population in Northern Ireland recently. The minister attributed this to the early restriction of the breed in Great Britain. As England, Wales, and Scotland enforced this restriction, some XL Bully owners moved to Northern Ireland, which hadn’t yet announced the restrictions.

“I cannot rule out that the significant uplift in XL Bully dogs finding a home here is due to displacement from England, Scotland, and Wales,” Muir explained.

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