There has been widespread coverage in print and broadcast media – including the Times, Guardian, Telegraph, Independent and BBC Radio 4 - of the law banning unregistered XL Bully dogs coming into force today (1 February). It is now illegal to own an XL Bully dog unless it is registered and complies with strict rules including being neutered and muzzled in public.
This announcement delivers on a Government pledge to take quick and decisive action to protect the public from devastating dog attacks by adding the breed type to the list of dangerous dogs.
The decision was made following a concerning rise in fatal dog attacks involving the XL Bully breed type. Up until 2021 there were around 3 fatalities per year. There have been 23 since the start of 2021 – with the XL Bully being involved in many of these tragic attacks.
Anyone who has an XL Bully dog that is not registered is breaking the law and faces prosecution and a criminal record. Their dog will also be seized and it will be for a Court to determine whether you can register it at this point.
The Government will continue supporting the police to make sure the ban is effectively enforced.
Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said:
The ban on XL Bullies is now in place meaning it is illegal to own one of these dogs unless it has been registered.
We have delivered our pledge to bring in this important measure to protect public safety, and we expect all XL Bully owners to comply with the strict conditions.