HUMZA Yousaf is expected to be quizzed in Holyrood tomorrow on why Scottish ministers are not planning to outlaw XL bully dogs.

The Scottish Conservatives justice spokesman Russell Findlay is hoping to tackle the First Minister on the issue after warnings Scotland could face an influx of the animals after the dogs are banned in England and Wales at the end of this year.

“The people of Scotland know that the SNP will always neglect the common good in order to pick fights with the UK government," said Mr Findlay.

READ MORE:  Scotland facing 'influx' of XL bully dogs after ban in England

“This petty posturing is tiresome, but it is downright irresponsible when it comes to their bone-headed rejection of a ban on this dangerous dog breed. I have lodged questions at Holyrood to ask SNP ministers why they are willing to gamble with public safety in this way.”

XL bully dogs, which have been responsible for several fatal attacks including one death in Scotland, will join the list of those banned in England and Wales from December 31.

But in a letter to the UK government, Siobhian Brown, the Scottish minister for victims and community safety, has confirmed a similar prohibition will not be introduced in Scotland.

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From December 31 it will be illegal to breed, sell, or rehome XL bully dogs in England and Wales and existing owners will have to keep their dog on a lead and muzzled in public. However, Scotland will retain the use dog control notices (DCNs), focusing on owners who have allowed their dogs to be out of control.

Doug Smith, a spokesman for the campaign group Bully Watch, said the Scottish Government’s position would entice owners and breeders dogs to relocate to Scotland.

“Breeders of XL bully dogs will absolutely move to Scotland, they will 100% move to be able to legally breed and export these dogs from Scotland, “ he told The Times.

The Herald: Protest in Glasgow against the proposed ban on XL Bully dogs. Pet owners against the ban marched from Glasgow Green to Buchanan Street via George Square. Photograph by Colin Mearns, The Herald, October 28, 2023.

“The position the Scottish Government has taken is the worst thing they could have done, either they should have said we’re definitely going to ban them or definitely said they won’t ban but sticking to this on-the-fence middle ground is just going to cause confusion for everyone.”

Mr Smith told The Herald that breeding XL bullies can be lucrative with a booming export market and single pups selling for between £3000 and £5000.

He also feared more incidents of the dogs causing harm to people would occur if a ban in Scotland did not go ahead.

In 2021, Adam Watts, the manager of kennels near Dundee, was killed while trying to restrain an XL bully in his care. There have been a number of other incidents, including one in which three children were hurt in Forfar.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The UK government announced the proposal to ban XL bullies without any notice to the Scottish government. Any change to the rules must be evidenced based and we are moving swiftly to carefully consider the evidence so we can make the right decision for Scotland.

“Public safety is paramount to our deliberations. Scotland already has a dog control notice regime that is unique in the UK and focussed on preventing dog attacks from happening in the first place.”

The UK Government has urged Scottish ministers to reconsider their position.

A Defra spokesperson said: “We encourage all Devolved Administrations to strongly consider the case for introducing their own measures in light of the restrictions which will be applying in England and Wales.