OWNERS of XL Bully dogs are being warned of new legislation set to come into effect in the near future surrounding the breed.

East Lothian Council has advised those who own or are considering fostering or rehoming an XL Bully dog to take note of legislation which will require several restrictions under new laws.

The Scottish Government confirmed earlier this month that it would replicate the UK Government’s XL Bully ban in Scotland, in line with legislation which has already been implemented in England and Wales.

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In Scotland, this means that, from the yet-unannounced date of commencement of the ban, it will be a criminal offence to have an XL Bully dog in Scotland unless it is on the exemption register. Any XL Bully dog must also be on a lead and muzzled at all times in a public place, including in a private car.

Implementation of the ban will come in two stages.

Firstly, all XL Bully dogs will be required to be on a lead and muzzled, and it will be illegal to breed, sell, advertise, gift, exchange, abandon or let the dogs stray in Scotland.

This will be followed by the requirement to record dogs on the exemption register.

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “Owners of XL Bully dogs and others who may be considering fostering or re-homing these dogs are advised to be aware of forthcoming legislation to be introduced by the Scottish Government which will require the animals to be kept muzzled and on a lead while in public.

“Also in line with similar legislation already introduced in England and Wales, these dogs will be required to be registered, microchipped and neutered, with further restrictions concerning the breeding, selling and abandonment of these animals.

"Owners and potential owners are further advised to contact their vet if concerned about behavioural issues.”