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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

More than 100 licensed XL bullies in Mid and East Antrim

XL bully type dog

Mid and East Antrim has 106 licensed XL bully breed dogs, councillors have been told.


A report presented to the borough council’s Neighbourhoods and Communities Committee at last week’s meeting said that owners who no longer wish to keep these dogs ahead of a ban will be able to avail of compensation for euthanasia.


The report said the Northern Ireland Executive is seeking to proceed with a ban on XL bullies which would come into effect on December 31.



The proposed ban under the Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order follows a number of deaths and injuries in the UK which has prompted bans being introduced in England, Scotland and Wales.


However, councillors have been advised exemptions for existing pets will be available and applications are planned to commence on August 1 at a cost of £92.40 per dog.


A report to the committee said that according to a draft timetable, all XL bullies must be muzzled and on a lead in a public place from June 1. The draft timetable has indicated it will be an offence to breed, gift, sell, exchange or abandon an XL bully from this date.



The proposed deadline for exemptions will be December 15. After December 31, the council may be able to seize any suspected XL bully dog which is not exempted and seek a court destruction order.


The draft timetable also indicated owners with an exemption must have third party insurance from January 1, 2025 and XL bullies neutered from November 30, 2025. Owners will be required to provide evidence of this to the council.


Councillors were also advised of “significant financial outlay” by the local authority for the seizure and kennelling of suspected XL bully dogs for a period of at least six weeks while awaiting a court date.



It was stated the council “enforcement staff will have to receive sufficient training in the identification of XL bullies”. They were also told it may impact enforcement of penalties for dog fouling, littering and fly-tipping offences in the borough.


Carrickfergus Castle DUP Alderman Billy Ashe MBE recalled a previous ban on another breed when there were court cases after dogs were removed from owners and there were “substantial monies involved”.


“There was substantial outlay not just feeding and watering for a couple of days,” he said. He also noted “personal abuse” that members received from owners of dogs that had been “lifted”.


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