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Scotland announces XL bully ban dates
The new laws in Scotland will mirror those already in force in England and Wales.
Owners will need an exemption certificate by 31 July.

The Scottish government has announced the dates when new XL bully legislation will come into force.

Subject to parliamentary approval, it will be illegal to sell, gift, or exchange an XL bully dog in Scotland from 23 February 2024. XL bullies will also need to wear a muzzle and be kept on a lead when in a public place.

From 31 July 2024, it will be against the law to own an XL bully without an exemption certificate.

Details of how to apply for a certificate will be announced in the coming weeks alongside support measures. The Scottish government has said that it will use the same definition of an XL bully as the one used by the UK government in England and Wales.

Siobhian Brown, minister for victims and community safety, said: “It is vital XL bully dog owners get ready for the first stage of legal safeguards that will come into force on 23 February. These new rules are intended to prevent risks to public safety and animal welfare and keep our communities safe.

“The second stage of legal safeguards will provide owners seeking an exemption an appropriate length of time to decide how to prepare for the forthcoming change in the law ahead of the 31 July deadline.

“The vast majority of dog owners are responsible animal lovers and we know owning a dog brings with it important responsibilities. I would encourage owners to make themselves aware of the new laws and get ready for them.”

The decision by the Scottish government to follow the UK government in legislating against XL bully dogs has been criticised by animal welfare organisations.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We recognise that the Scottish government feel that they have had little choice in implementing these ‘safeguards’, but we are concerned that these regulations are being rushed through. We are reviewing next steps when it comes to XL bullies currently in our care.

“We fully support legislation to protect the public, and we are deeply concerned about the rise in dog control related incidents, but the Scottish SPCA has long opposed restrictions that focus specifically on certain types of dogs.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.