In a show of solidarity, owners of the XL Bully breed of dogs are converging at the heart of Bristol today to voice their opposition to the imminent legislative alterations that could lead to the euthanasia of their beloved pets.
Organized through the ‘Protect Our Bullys Bristol’ Facebook group, this gathering, scheduled to take place at The Centre by the Cascade Steps from 1 pm, aims to rally support and seek a reversal of the government’s persistent tightening of regulations concerning XL Bully ownership. Scores of participants are expected to join the protest, where flowers, candles, and collars will be laid down as symbols of affection for their four-legged companions.
The focal point of the demonstration is the looming deadline for XL Bully owners to apply for an exemption for their pets, set for noon on Wednesday, January 31. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is issuing a reminder to owners, emphasizing the imperative nature of completing the exemption process within the specified timeframe to avoid the legal consequences of possessing an XL Bully dog.
If owners are granted an exemption, it not only prevents the breed from being outlawed but also entails navigating a series of stringent criteria. The application fee for an XL Bully exemption stands at £92.40 per dog. Additionally, owners must secure third-party insurance, ensure their dog is neutered and microchipped, and comply with a range of restrictions. These include keeping the dog muzzled and on a lead in public, promptly informing the relevant authorities of any change of address, maintaining secure conditions to prevent escape, and the dog residing at the registered address throughout the year, with the exception of a 30-day holiday period.
The XL Bully owners’ contention revolves not only around the potential outlawing of their pets but also the arduous challenges posed by the exemption criteria. The financial burden, coupled with the myriad of responsibilities, has spurred this community into action, seeking a reconsideration of the regulations.
As the deadline looms, it remains to be seen how many owners will successfully navigate the exemption process, ensuring the legality of their pets in the face of these significant legal changes.
With emotions running high and the XL Bully community vehemently expressing their concerns, the fate of these dogs hangs in the balance. As Wednesday’s deadline approaches, it is a critical moment for owners, who face the challenge of complying with the stringent exemption criteria to secure the future of their pets. The protest and vigil in Bristol symbolize a united front against the impending legal changes, bringing attention to the complexities of this issue. The onus now lies on the government to carefully consider the concerns raised by XL Bully owners and strike a balance between animal welfare and the rights of responsible pet owners. The coming days may determine the course of this ongoing debate, shedding light on the fate of XL Bully dogs in the UK.