Safeguards regarding XL Bully dogs: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

1. Why the ban on xl bully breed?

2. The numbers of the population of Scotland that has agreed to this via a ballot/vote.

3. What it is that warrants a ban on the breed?

4. How many xl bully attacks against other breeds since 2017? The reason for info since 2017 is because you tried this in the early 2000s and I have been watching and there is a trend happening with all bully breeds.

5. Lastly, why ban a breed because Scots decided to try rescue this breed from death in England?


As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.

Response to your request

The answer to questions 1, 3 and 5 is:

The Scottish Government has taken the policy decision to introduce new safeguards in relation to XL Bully dogs. This was not a decision taken lightly. It follows as a direct result of the UK Government decision to introduce controls on XL Bully dogs in England and Wales. With the UK Government failing to fully consider the implications for Scotland of allowing dog owners in England and Wales to evade the controls in England and Wales by disposing of their dogs in Scotland, the Scottish Government decided this action was needed to address growing public safety and animal welfare concerns. This UK Government decision was announced with no notice given to the Scottish Government, and with no prior wider public consultation.

Helpful and practical support and guidance has been published on the Scottish Government website to ensure owners are made aware of how to comply with the new safeguards on XL Bully dogs, with further information to be published in the coming period:

The answer to question 2 is:

There has been no such ballot/vote. As indicated above, the action being taken by the Scottish Government is a direct result of the UK Government decision to introduce controls on XL Bully dogs in England and Wales. This resulted in dog owners in England and Wales seeking to evade these new controls by disposing of their dogs in Scotland. This gives rise to unacceptable risks. As a result, we have had to make the decision to introduce new safeguards on XL Bully dogs.

The answer to question 4 is:

The information you have requested in relation to dog on dog attacks in not held by the Scottish Government.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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