The XL Bully dog has been added to a list of dogs that cannot be imported to the island.

Tynwald has today voted to amend the Wild Animals Act 1980 in response to the UK government’s recent decision to make it illegal to own the XL Bully breed in England or Wales from 1 February, unless the owner has successfully applied for it to be registered, and keeps their dog muzzled in public.

The dogs were added to the UK’s list following a number of serious attacks on people.

XL Bullies originated in the US in the late 1980s, when American pit bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers were crossed. There are four variations: standard, pocket, classic and XL.

The XL variation, which can weigh more than nine stone (60kg) and is strong enough to overpower an adult, is regarded as a specific breed in the US.

However, it is not recognised as such by the main British dog associations, such as the Kennel Club.

The decision was made in Tynwald's sitting today (Tuesday).

 Clare Barber MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘It has been important to move quickly, in order to close a potential loophole for additional XL Bullies to be introduced to the Isle of Man, and I’d like to thank officers and Tynwald members for their support on the matter.’

 ‘XL Bullies already on the Island are not affected by this change, although we would always impress upon owners the importance of behaviour training for dogs.’

The other dogs banned from importation to the Isle of Man are Pit Bull Terrier types, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero.

 The XL Bully importation ban will come into force at 00:01 on Wednesday (tomorrow).