This means that from 31 December 2023 breeding, selling, advertising, rehoming, abandoning and allowing an XL Bully dog to stray will be illegal. Also from 31 December 2023 XL Bully dogs must be muzzled and on a lead in public.
We also announced that from 1 February 2024 it will also become illegal to own an XL Bully dog unless it is on the Index of Exempted Dogs. We are not accepting applications for Certificates of Exemption yet. Further details on how to apply to keep your dog will be provided soon.
Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said:
We are taking quick and decisive action to protect the public from tragic dog attacks and today I have added the XL Bully type to the list of dogs prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
It will soon become a criminal offence to breed, sell, advertise, rehome or abandon an XL Bully type dog, and they must also be kept on a lead and muzzled in public. In due course it will also be illegal to own one of these dogs without an exemption.
We will continue to work closely with the police, canine and veterinary experts, and animal welfare groups, as we take forward these important measures.
Although we are not accepting applications for Certificates of Exemption yet, there are actions owners can take to prepare. Please see a timeline of these below:
|Up until 31 December 2023||Owners should check their dog against the standard.
Owners should start training their dogs to wear a muzzle and walk on a lead now, ahead of the restrictions coming into force on 31 December 2023.
XL Bully breeders should stop all breeding activity as it will be a criminal offence to sell, transfer, exchange, gift or advertise these dogs from 31 December 2023.
|From 31 December 2023||All owners of XL Bully breed types must comply with strict conditions. This includes ensuring they put their dog on a lead and muzzle in public, and do not breed, sell, exchange, gift or abandon their dog.
|Up until 1 February 2023||Owners of XL Bully type dogs or owners of young dogs that could grow to be XL Bully type dogs have two options:
Apply for their dog to be added to the Index of Exempted Dogs - We are not accepting applications for Certificates of Exemption yet. Further details on how to apply will be provided soon.
Owners should contact Dogs Trust to arrange for insurance. Owners should make sure their dog is microchipped and registered on a microchip database. They should also plan to have their dog neutered.
Put their dog to sleep: The Government will pay a contribution towards the costs associated with euthanasia that takes place before 31 January 2024. This contribution will be a total of £200 per dog. Owners and their vet will need to complete a form in order to make a claim. Details of how to apply for compensation will be provided shortly.
|From 1 February 2024||It will be a criminal offence to be in possession of an XL Bully in England and Wales, unless owners have received an exemption.|
|By 30 June 2024||If your dog is older than one year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 30 June 2024. Owners will need to have provided us with evidence of this by this date to keep their exemption. More details of how to do this will be provided soon.
|By 31 December 2024
|If your dog is less than one year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. Owners will need to have provided us with evidence of this by this date to keep their exemption. More details of how to do this will be provided soon.|