A coalition of animal charities including the Scottish SPCA and Dogs Trust have reacted to the "deeply disappointing" decision to ban XL Bullies in Scotland

The Dog Control Coalition – which also includes the RSPCA, Blue Cross, Battersea, UK Kennel Club and British Veterinary Association – said banning dog breeds will not stop attacks taking place. 

It comes after Humza Yousaf confirmed in Holyrood on Thursday (January 11) the Scottish Government would follow the ban which has been implemented in England and Wales. 

Read more: XL Bully dogs to be banned in Scotland, Humza Yousaf confirms

The Dog Control Coalition said: "We are concerned about the rise in dog related incidents and steps must be taken to protect the public, but we do not believe that banning any type or breed of dog will stop these types of incidents from occurring.

"It's therefore deeply disappointing that the Scottish Government is following the same path as the UK Government. A complete overhaul of the existing dog control legislation is the only way to tackle the root causes of the tragic incidents we have seen in recent years.

The Herald: XL Bullies are being banned in Scotland after new restrictions in England and WalesXL Bullies are being banned in Scotland after new restrictions in England and Wales

"Both Governments must urgently take steps to deal with the unscrupulous breeders who are putting profit before welfare, and the irresponsible owners whose dogs are dangerously out of control."

The coalition said it it critical any policy designed to protect public safety is based on robust evidence, and said it is "deeply concerned" about the lack of data behind this policy decision. 

There is no clear understanding of how many tens of thousands of dogs could be impacted by the ban, it said, as XL Bullies are not an officially recognised breed. 

Read more: Scottish woman helps rescue 30 XL Bullies before ban

The Dog Control Coalition said: "We urge the Scottish Government to learn the lessons from the rushed implementation of the ban in England and Wales.

"It must make sure that there is a sufficient transition period, so that owners have the time and support needed to be able to exempt their dogs, and to ensure neutering capacity is available, and that the process is as clear and simple as possible for dog owners, vets and the rescue charities who will be left to pick up the pieces of this ill-considered legislation.

"It is also crucial that the teams responsible for enforcing this law have the resources and training they need before the ban begins to avoid any more dogs than absolutely necessary from being caught up in this."

What has Humza Yousaf said about the XL Bully ban?

It comes after Mr Yousaf raised concerns about the "flow of XL Bully Dogs coming to Scotland" after tougher restrictions came into force in England and Wales on December 31. 

The First Minister said: "We will in essence replicate the legislation that is in England and Wales here in Scotland.

"Because ultimately although we do have a very good system of dog control notice schemes, and we do take the approach of deed not breed, we have to respond to the situation as it currently stands."

Further details on the ban will be announced next week, Mr Yousaf said. 

What are the rules on XL Bullies in England and Wales?

It is now illegal to breed, sell, and rehome XL Bullies in England and Wales, and unregistered dogs will be banned there on February 1

From that date, owning an XL Bully will be an offence unless the dog is registered, neutered, microchipped and put on a lead and muzzle in public. 

The new restrictions were announced following a series of fatal attacks on humans, including kennel manager Adam Watts in Dundee

For more information and guidance, visit the Dogs Trust website