Minister questions ownership of of XL Bully dog ‘bred to be aggressive’

Fine Gael’s Heather Humphreys consulting Attorney General on regulation and legislation regarding ban on breed

Minister for Community Development Heather Humphreys has expressed dismay as to 'why anyone would want to own an XL Bully'.

A ban on the crossbreed dog XL Bully will be considered this week by Minister for Community Development Heather Humphreys when she meets a stakeholder group on dog control.

The group, established to look at all policy and legislative aspects of the Dog Control Act and Dog Breeding Establishment Act, is expected to advise the Minister on how a ban could be effectively implemented following serious incidents involving XL bullies including the fatal attack earlier this month on Limerick woman Nicole Morey.

A ban will be introduced in the North on the crossbreed XL Bully and comes into effect in Britain on July 1st.

Dealing with the issue in the Dáil this week the Minister stressed that “we do not want to be out of kilter with Northern Ireland. There is no point in them being banned there and having a different arrangement south of the Border.”


Woman (23) who died after dog attack at her home in Co Limerick named locallyOpens in new window ]

XL Bully dogs will have to be muzzled in public from next month in Northern IrelandOpens in new window ]

But she said “we have to tease out how we will police and manage this and what it really means. It is okay to ban things, but it is about how we implement the ban and make sure we achieve” an effective outcome. She is also looking at how bans were introduced in Denmark and France.

“It is true that any dog can bite a person, but the damage caused by XL Bullies happens because their jaws lock and it is not possible to get them off,” she said.

“I absolutely do not know why anyone would want to own an XL Bully. That is being straight. They are bred to be aggressive and they are dangerous in my book,” she said.

Should XL Bully breed and other dangerous dogs be banned?Opens in new window ]

The ban could be in place early if it is done through regulation but legislation would take longer. The Minister is consulting the Attorney General on the issue.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times