The XL Bully Ban – Implications for Dogs and Their Owners

Understanding the XL Bully Ban – Impact on Canines and Their Caretakers

On October 31, 2023, the UK Government made a pivotal decision by adding the XL Bully breed to the roster of prohibited breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. Dogs will undergo assessments based on specific criteria to ascertain if they fall within the classification of an XL Bully.

Commencing on December 31, 2023, the ban will render it unlawful to sell, abandon, gift, or breed XL Bullys. Additionally, having an XL Bully unleashed in public or without a muzzle will be a violation of the law.

To comply with the legislation, XL Bully owners must take the following steps:

  • Apply for a Certificate of Exemption by January 31, 2024, at a cost of £92.40.
  • Owning an XL Bully in England and Wales after February 1, 2024, without a Certificate of Exemption will constitute a criminal offense.

Maintaining an XL Bully requires adherence to specific guidelines:

  • Microchipping your dog
  • Neutering your dog
  • Keeping your dog on a lead and muzzled in public
  • Ensuring your dog is secure and cannot escape

Guidance on Neutering for XL Bullys:

  • For dogs under one year old by January 31, 2024, neutering must be completed by December 31, 2024.
  • For dogs over one year old by January 31, 2024, neutering must be completed by June 30, 2024.
  • XL Bully owners are encouraged to reach out promptly to schedule neutering ahead of these deadlines.

Additional Criteria for XL Bully Owners:

  • Must be over 16 years old
  • Required to obtain insurance against their dog injuring others through Dog’s Trust membership
  • Must present a Certificate of Exemption when requested by law enforcement or a council dog warden within 5 days
  • Vets are not obligated to report XL Bully dogs and their owners to the police.

Muzzle Guidance for XL Bullys:

  • Owners are advised to start muzzle training now to comply with the regulations effective December 31, 2023. Online resources for free muzzle training are available through Blue Cross and Dog’s Trust, and our Nurse clinics can provide advice and support.
Choosing Not to Keep an XL Bully:
  • The Government suggests euthanasia for those choosing not to keep their XL Bully, with a contribution of £200 per dog to cover euthanasia costs before January 31, 2024.

We understand the challenges of this decision and offer our support during this difficult time. For any inquiries, support, or to schedule microchipping or neutering for your XL Bully, please contact your local surgery.