HAMPSHIRE'S top police chief has welcomed the XL Bully dog ban as, nationally, there have been “too many horrifying examples of how dangerous this breed can be”.

Donna Jones, the police and crime commissioner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (PCC),  backed the recent government decision to introduce the American XL Bully onto the list of dog breeds banned in the UK.

Dog attacks took the lives of 10 people in England and Wales last year, five of which were caused by XL Bully breeds despite making up around one per cent of the UK dog population.

One victim last year was Ian Symes, 34, who died after an XL Bully attack in Fareham.

It will be against the law, under the Dangerous Dogs Act, to sell, abandon, breed, give away or have an XL Bully in public without a lead or muzzle from December 31, 2023.

Basingstoke Gazette: Hampshire's PCC Donna Jones has welcomed the XL Bully dog banFrom February next year, it will be illegal to own the breed unless the owner gets their pet registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs by the end of January.

If a dog is less than one-years-old on January 31, 2024, it must be neutered by December 31, next year. If it is older than one-yeard-old on January 31, 2024, it must be neutered by June 30.

Mrs Jones added: “This is a positive step and gives owners and breeders a timeline to work with, including training their dogs to wear a muzzle and walk on a lead.

“Owners who wish to keep their dogs will have until the end of January to register them and will be forced to comply with strict requirements. As well as being muzzled and kept on a lead in public, these dogs must also be microchipped and neutered.

“I know owners with well-behaved XL Bullies will be disappointed but the number of cases where this breed has caused serious injury or death warrants the introduction of stringent conditions and an outright ban.”