Buckie couple make “blame the right end of the leash” plea as Bully XL ban looms

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GRAMPIAN Online readers have shared their views following Tuesday’s coverage of a Buckie couple’s plea to “blame the right end of the leash” ahead of a proposed ban on American Bully XL ownership.

Buckie couple Karen and Aaron Taylor with their XL Bully Ghost. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Buckie couple Karen and Aaron Taylor with their XL Bully Ghost. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Karen Taylor and her husband Aaron have had their four-year-old Bully XL Ghost since he was a puppy.

On September 15, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to ban the breed in the UK by the end of 2023 following several attacks south of the border.

However, Karen and Aaron say the problem lies with “immature, inappropriate and inexperienced owners” and not the dogs themselves.

Many of our readers have sided with the couple while others have offered alternatives to an outright ban.

Ghost, an American Bully XL, is four years old. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
Ghost, an American Bully XL, is four years old. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Readers react

Debbie Thompson labelled an outright ban “ridiculous” adding that it “doesn’t solve anything”.

She said: “Punish the bad owners not the breed. It’s up to an owner to know their dog and be responsible for it. Any responsible owner with a dog that has issues is gonna put a muzzle on it to safe guard it and others.

“What we need is heftier punishments for people who are in charge of dangerous animals and not taking proper precautions.”

Callum Ross branded people supporting a ban on the breed as “deluded” adding that it wouldn’t stop attacks.

He said: “Anybody who wants a dog for nefarious means will either get one illegally or simply move onto the next breed that can fill the role they’re looking for.

“They tried to ban Doberman, German Shepherds, Rottweiler, Staffies all for the same reason and failed because, like the current situation with the XL Bully breed, it’s the owner that is the one responsible for the disposition of their animal.”

Allan Taylor offered up a possible alternative to banning the breed outright.

He said: “A solution could be that all dogs over a certain size are muzzled in public, any dog can bite but you will walk away from a Jack Russell.”

Gavin McLennan added that “any dog can turn” but if an XL Bully does the result can be “catastrophic”.

He added: “Training and socialising only reduce the risk but the amount of owners who are blind to this and don’t care by putting other dogs and people at risk is startling.”

Leigh Ann believes that measures should be put in place for dog owners to “weed out the idiots”.

She said: “I’m gutted this is happening. My Chimpy is a gentle giant, clumsy but gentle, but like any big breed yes dangerous in the wrong hands, so though I am gutted about having to muzzle him in public this may weed out the idiots.”

Georgie Reid said that licensing laws need to be adjusted to make sure people end up with a suitable breed for their circumstances.

He said: “Unfortunately, saying don’t blame the breed blame the deed, but unfortunately it’s too late after the deed.

“The problem with this breed ultimately lies with the breeders who have sold these dogs for ridiculous prices, turn them into commodities and sold them to anyone and everyone.

“I don’t agree with banning specific breeds because it hasn’t worked in the past.

“They need to look at licensing laws. Not every breed is suitable for every type of person. People need to choose the types of dogs that best fit their lifestyle.”

Sheruff Ralph simply said: “Ban bad owners, any breed can be dangerous in the wrong hands.”

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