A vigil for euthanised Bully dogs was held in Dover (Picture: TikTok/leesansum_tailsandtrails)
Dozens of animal lovers held a candlelit vigil for XL Bully dogs being euthanised after a law banning the breed was introduced.
Forty people came together for occasion in Dover, and lit candles next to photos of Bullies and one of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with what appears to be blood on his hands.
Mr Sunak announced the ban last year following a spate of attacks on people – some fatal – by the breed.
The RSPCA, which believes the ban was brought in too fast, later warnedBullies at rescue centres that had not been rehomed by New Year’s Eve faced being put down.
The charity was among campaigners calling for a judicial review of the ban, which has been granted for January and could halt or change the rules if successful.
One of the vigil photos on TikTok with the words Fly high angels (Picture: TikTok/lees, ansum_tailsandtrails)
Lee Sansum, who organised the vigil last night and later posted photos on TikTok, described it as a ‘sombre and respectful’ occasion.
The 38-year-old told Kent Online: ‘There was a lot of disbelief – we were stood there mourning the death of dogs who didn’t need to die.
‘But it was heartwarming to feel that we have some support from the public – that it’s not just us bully owners in this fight.
‘Thankfully in this area we’ve had no reports of dogs who have been put down, but there are dozens of dogs across the UK that have been put to sleep.’
It is not clear how many dogs have been euthanised so far, but the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Efra) select committee heard in October that people had already started handing their Bullies to vets and rehoming centres.
A picture of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak covered in blood was among the Bully dog photos(Picture: TikTok/leesansum_tailsandtrails)
Some owners were concerned the ban would affect their tenancy agreement and had asked vets to put their pet down, the Guardian reported at the time.
A RSPCA spokesperson told the Metro today the charity would not put down any rehomable Bullies in its care while it waits for more news of the judicial review.
Mr Sansum, meanwhile, said a breed can’t be blamed for attacks, instead it’s a result of irresponsible owners.
He believes banning one breed will just lead to these owners taking on other breeds and transferring the problems on to them.
A woman lights a candle at the vigil (Picture: TikTok/leesansum_tailsandtrails)
The law allows existing Bully dog owners to keep their pets, but the dogs must be muzzled when in public, permanently neutered and covered by third-party insurance.
All owners must be 16 or older and from February 1 have a valid Certificate of Exemption.
On New Year’s Eve one man drove 200 miles to from the West Midlands to Scotland to help rehome dozens of Bullies.
The ban is currently not applicable to Scotland.
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It’s believed several rescue centres that haven’t yet rehomed their Bullies are having to put the animals down.