XL Bully Dogs

Following a concerning rise in attacks and fatalities caused by XL Bully dogs, the government has added this breed to the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.  Which means under the new rules, which come into force at the end of the year, it will be illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon or allow XL Bully dogs to stray in England and Wales.

To help current owners adapt to the new laws, these changes will come into force in 2 stages:

From 31 December 2023:  XL Bully dogs must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public. It is recommended that owners of XL Bully dogs start training their dog to wear a muzzle and to walk on a lead ahead of the legal restrictions coming into force.

Breeders have also been told to stop mating these types of dogs in preparation of it being a criminal offence to sell or rehome these dogs.

From 1 February 2024:  It will then become illegal to own an XL Bully dog if it is not registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs. By staggering these two dates, current owners of this breed will have time to prepare for these new rules.

Owners who wish to keep their dogs will have until 31st January 2024 to register them and will be forced to comply with strict requirements. As well as being muzzled and kept on a lead in public, these dogs must also be micro-chipped and neutered. Information on how to register dogs is available via the external link below.

Dogs under one year when the ban comes in must be neutered by the end of the year, older dogs must be neutered by the end of June.

From 1 February 2024, owners without a Certificate of Exemption face a criminal record and an unlimited fine if they are found to be in possession of an XL Bully type, and their dog could be seized.

Owners may choose to have their dog put to sleep by a vet, with compensation provided to help with these costs. Further details on how to apply for compensation and the evidence required to make a claim are available via the external link below.  

As part of the process, the definition of the ‘XL Bully’ breed type has been published. This follows meetings of an expert group, convened by the Environment Secretary and made up of police, local authority, vets and other animal welfare experts to help define the breed. The definition provides clear assessment criteria for owners and enforcement authorities and is a requirement under the Dangerous Dogs Act in order to deliver the ban. 

Useful External Links:

Prepare for the ban on XL Bully Dogs

Last updated: Wed 13 December, 2023 @ 12:14