Two Flintshire residents have spoken out about their opposition to the Government's forthcoming XL Bully ban.

The much talked about ban comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak branded the breed a “danger to our communities”.

His words came after it emerged a man died after being attacked by two dogs – suspected to be bully XLs – in Staffordshire.

It was confirmed in recent weeks that breeding, selling, advertising, rehoming, abandoning and allowing an XL Bully to stray in England and Wales will be illegal from December 31, 2023.

Additionally, from this date, XL Bullies must wear a muzzle and be kept on a lead when out in public.

It will become illegal to own an XL Bully from February 1, 2024 unless it is included on a list of exempted dogs.

Russ Williams, owner of Russ Williams Martial Arts gyms in Caerwys and Wrexham, has a two-year-old XL Bully named Scooby.

He told the Leader he completely disagrees with banning the XL Bully breed outright.

"Based on my experience with him he is such a lovely dog," he explained.

"I disagree with the ban. I feel they should do more with the bad dog owners than the actual breed.

"It's the same with any dog, whether it's a rottweiler, an alsation or any kind - if they have a bad owner, they can become a violent, dangerous dog.

"When people see Scooby, I tell them he's ok and they come over. He just rolls on his back, he is so chilled out.

"When we go for a walk, if he sees other people, dogs, children, even cats; it doesn't faze him.

"He just carries on."

Mr Williams, of Caerwys, added he was "worried and angry" when the ban was first announced but he will be training Scooby to walk with a muzzle.

Russ' friend Richard Platt, from Hawarden, has also owned bully dogs and says based on his experiences with them, the forthcoming ban fails to address the concerns people have about the breed.

He told the Leader: "They have got it completely wrong.

"This is a social problem, it's nothing to do with the dogs.

"To combat it, there should be licencing on certain dogs - for example an age restriction of 30 on owning them, checks on whether you've got a criminal record for violence, whether you've had a dog before.

"It should be similar to having a shotgun licence.

"The only people this ban will suit are those who don't care, or those who only bought the dogs to breed them because now they'll have an excuse to get rid of them now that there's no money in them.

"Bullies are 100 per cent not a dangerous dog - breeders in America spent 30 years trying to breed a dog which looked like a pitbull without any of the characteristics.

"Then certain idiots got hold of them in this country, cross-bred them, neglected them and everything else.

"I've had bullies for years - they just want to sit on your knee. It's such a shame."