XL Bully Update

Nov 17, 2023 | Announcements, Dog

On 31 October 2023, the UK Government decided to add the XL Bully breed to the list of banned breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Dogs will be assessed against this criteria to determine if they fit the classification of being an XL Bully.

When does the XL Bully ban start?

The ban will come into force from 31 December 2023.

At this time, it will become illegal to sell, abandon, rehome, give away or breed from an XL Bully. It will also be illegal to have an XL Bully in public unleashed and without wearing a muzzle.

Owners of XL Bully Dogs will need to take the following steps to ensure they’re complying with the law:

  • You must apply for a Certificate of Exemption by 31 January 2024. This will cost £92.40. From 1 February 2024 it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully in England and Wales unless you have a Certificate of Exemption for your dog.
  • To keep an XL Bully, you must ensure the following:
  • Your dog is microchipped.
  • Your dog is neutered.
  • Your dog is kept on a lead and muzzled when in public.
  • Your dog is kept in a secure place where they cannot escape.

Neutering guidance for XL Bully Dogs

According to Gov.uk, ‘If your dog is less than one year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If your dog is older than one year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 30 June 2024.’

We recommend XL Bully owners get in touch as soon as possible so we can get your dog booked in for neutering ahead of these deadlines. We will be offering reduced price neutering and microchipping.   

Once your XL Bully dog has been neutered, your vet will complete the proof of neutering form for you to return to Defra. If your dog has already been neutered, your vet can still complete the paperwork for you to issue to Defra.

If neutering was undertaken by a different Vet or at a different practice, your current vet may have to check that neutering has taken place. You may have to pay a fee for the vet to do this. Alternatively, you may be able to contact your previous vet to fill in the form.

XL Bully Dog owners must also meet the following criteria:

  • You must be over 16 years old.
  • You need to take out insurance against your dog injuring other people.
  • You need to be able to show a Certificate of Exemption when asked by a police officer or a council dog warden, either at the time or within 5 days.

Vets will not be expected to report XL Bully dogs and their owners to the police. 

Muzzle guidance for XL Bully Dog

XL Bully who aren’t accustomed to wearing a muzzle should start muzzle training now, so you’re able to comply with the requirements when these come into force on 31 December 2023. Free muzzle training resources can be found online through the Blue Cross and Dog’s Trust. Alternatively call us and we can provide local dog trainers offering this service.

Choosing not to keep an XL Bully Dog

The Government recommendation for people choosing not to keep their XL Bully is for the dog to be euthanised, and the Government will pay £200 per dog to contribute towards the cost of euthanasia that takes place before 31 January 2024.

We understand how distressing this decision can be and our team will do their very best to support you at this time.

Please get in touch.

We look forward to welcoming you and your pets