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Vets call for extension of XL bully neutering deadlines
Defra is recommending that owners neuter XL bully dogs as soon as possible.
BVA writes to Government outlining concerns about rules.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has called on the Government to extend the deadlines for neutering XL bully dogs.

In a letter to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), BVA states that the move would help ‘to ease the likely pressure on the veterinary profession’, following concerns about whether the sector will have the capacity to deal with the impact of the ban.

Under the current rules, XL bully dogs younger than one year old on 31 January 2024 must be neutered by 31 December 2024 and those older than one year on 31 January 2024 must be neutered by 30 June 2024.

In the letter, BVA warns that these rules would lead to some dogs being neutered before they reach the recommended age of 18 months. As there are health and welfare concerns about large breeds being neutered early, BVA has called for the deadline for dogs under seven months old on 31 January 2024 to be extended until the end of June 2025.

The letter also asks the Government to adjust the neutering confirmation form to remove the requirement for veterinary surgeons to confirm that prior neutering has happened based on veterinary records. BVA states that it is already aware of one veterinary organisation that has advised its staff not to sign the form in this situation.

Instead, BVA asks that the wording is changed so that veterinary surgeons only have to confirm that a dog has previously been neutered ‘to the best of their knowledge’.

Concerns about a lack of adequate information to help owners identify whether or not their dog is an XL bully and the movement of dogs to Scotland and Northern Ireland to avoid the ban were also raised in the letter.

BVA has requested a meeting with the chief veterinary officer to discuss the issues further.

Image © Shutterstock

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."