British Veterinary Association issues statement in response to veterinary abuse by XL Bully campaign groups

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has been made aware of concerning reports of individual vets and veterinary practices receiving abusive and threatening messages and calls asking for their stance on euthanasing XL Bully dogs following the Government’s recent ban on the breed type.

Responding to these reports, British Veterinary Association Senior Vice President Malcolm Morley said:

“We understand that this has been an exceptionally stressful and worrying time for the owners of XL Bully-type dogs. The Government’s XL Bully ban is also placing additional pressure on veterinary teams who are doing their best in very challenging circumstances to help keep responsible XL Bully owners with their pets wherever possible. Their commitment extends to supporting clients with any decision-making around euthanasia in individual cases. It’s simply unacceptable for these professionals to face additional challenges through abuse, intimidation or threats. Such actions can have a hugely negative impact on individual vets and the wider team.

“As with any conversation around euthanasia, vets will always engage in supportive, two-way discussions with owners, including consideration of the potential negative impacts refusal to euthanase may have on the dog’s long-term welfare.

“BVA urges all members of the public to remain kind and courteous to vet teams during this emotionally charged time and to carefully consider the impact of their words and actions. We also urge all concerned practices and individual vets to take a zero-tolerance approach to abuse. Please use our practical #RespectYourVetTeam toolkit to help protect staff from online abuse, report concerns to the police, and reach out to Vetlife’s helpline for free and anonymous support if you are struggling. It is also important that all vet teams support each other at this time, irrespective of their ethical views.”

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