A BARNSLEY MP has called on the government to issue further guidance to XL bully owners who have been unable to register their dogs.

Stephanie Peacock, who represents Barnsley East, was contacted by a constituent who was unable to get their dog neutered for an unexpected amount of time and was therefore unable to register the dog before the government-set deadline.

The introduction of the policy on XL bullies, while necessary and welcome according to Ms Peacock, has been criticised for a lack of publicity and clarity for owners.

From December 31 breeding, selling, advertising, re-homing and allowing an XL bully dog to stray became illegal while from February 1 it also became illegal to own one without a certificate of exemption.

Owners who fail to comply could face a criminal record and an unlimited fine, and their dog could be seized.

She said: “I recently asked the government in Parliament to confirm where owners who did their best to comply with the law, but were unable to do so due to extenuating circumstance, can find more information about how to ensure that the ownership of their dog is legal.

“I hope that the government will do the right thing, and reopen the website so that all owners can comply with the law.”