XL Bully ban: RCVS statement in response to abuse of vet teams

Unfortunately, in the past few days, we have received worrying reports that some veterinary teams across England and Wales have faced abuse and harassment about supporting owners of XL Bully-type dogs who have decided to have their dogs euthanased, under the Government’s recent ban on this breed  

We understand that there are very strong opinions about the ban, and we respect the rights of individuals to make their own decisions. However, expressing these opinions can never justify or include the harassment and abuse of individual vets, vet nurses or their practice colleagues.  

Veterinary teams around the country are having to navigate rapidly the moral and practical challenges of this new law, while also accounting for different factors such as public safety, the owner’s wishes and animal health and welfare. 

We know the vast majority of owners will appreciate the efforts of their veterinary practice, and would urge all owners to treat their vet teams with courtesy and respect at all times. 

Thank you to vet teams 

To all the veterinary teams who are working hard to support XL Bully dog owners through this difficult time, we would like to thank you for all you are doing to protect animal health and welfare and public safety.  

We recognise that this updated legislation may have placed you in a difficult situation both ethically, and in terms of workloads, and are sorry if you experience any verbal abuse as a result. If you or your team feel at any personal risk, however, you might consider contacting the police.   

Whatever decision you make regarding the Government’s ban, we know that it will be based on carefully considered professional and ethical judgements. We have produced detailed guidance on the ban to help you in this regard. 

Please make sure to support each other within your teams, and support others within the wider professions who might be coming under more pressure at this time.  

Our Advice team is available to answer questions on the Government’s new legislation and its implications, and the Vetlife helpline provides 24/7 support to those who might be finding the situation particularly distressing or overwhelming. 

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published