The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has addressed concerning reports of veterinarians and practices receiving abusive and threatening messages regarding their stance on euthanising XL Bully dogs following the recent breed type ban by the Government.

Senior Vice President Malcolm Morley expressed deep concern about the distress faced by XL Bully dog owners and the added pressure on veterinary teams managing these challenging circumstances. He emphasised the importance of supporting responsible XL Bully owners in keeping their pets and helping them navigate decisions around euthanasia in individual cases.

Morley condemned the “unacceptable” abuse, intimidation, and threats faced by veterinary professionals, underscoring the detrimental impact on both individuals and the broader veterinary community.

“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,” he said.

“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.”