Skip to main content

Ban on unregistered XL Bully dogs now in force

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Protect

Defra logo

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.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Terry bradley posted on

    Hi our next door neighbour has a massive xl bully her garden has no fence or gate I think its also unregistered it’s had no vaxines and always around violence, my kids are scared to go into our garden as it’s always roaming free in the alley way outside our front door

  2. Comment by Caroline posted on

    The ban came into force in the 1st February 2024 however the legal wording on the government website keeps changing .
    Defra states that the ban ONLY applies to XL Bully type dog and the ban does not apply to other established breeds such as those recognised by the Kennel Club. This statement was in effect up unto the 31january 2024 however this wording was removed from the Legal documents as of 1st feb 2024. This is unacceptable to change the wording of a legal document after the closing date for exemption on a legal document . Therefore in order NOT to confuse owners of other breeds , who the ban does not apply to, please reinstate the orignal wording of the documents to include the statement which says this ban does not apply to other breeds. Please also clarify the breeds and cross breeds tyoes which are excluded from this ban to make it clearer this is only fair reasonable and justified
    I do not own an XL Bully type but this law has many pet dog owners worried and confused due to the lack of clarity . never owning or seeing an XL Bully I would never know how to identify one correctly as your conformation documents just describe an average medium sized dog with out clarifying what makes an XL bully type identifiable in it own right and therefore distinguishable from any other breed meeting the height and some characteristics. Better clarification MUST be updated to these documents especially as we are a nation of dog lovers it is concerning the lack of clarity around this new breed type . please state what sets it apart from other breeds and cross breeds so the general public and more so dog wardens ans police officers can identify one and distinguish it from other breeds which are not XL Bully breeds

  3. Comment by Zak posted on

    What happens to the people who have missed the deadline

  4. Comment by Caroline Traynor posted on

    We was a few days late registering our XL bully the police came and took him he is the most loving gently spoiled dog my mum went to the police station today to do the right thing and get help the Sargent said the dog will be safe until they sort things out later the same day they come to take him my mum has heart disease and he was her life the whole family is Herat broken

  5. Comment by Christina Aitken posted on

    Great news, so many people are getting hurt, just because these people want to show off these dogs. It is not the dog's fault. I am cat lover but can see its not the dog's fault, very breeding is the problem.

    I have just written to all my customers, I run my own cattery informing them of the new law from 10th June 2024 regarding microchips and the majority have thanked but you get the odd one or two, but in my mind, we should have a link to report these dogs and cats owners via maybe Defra.?

  6. Comment by Jordan posted on

    22,000 dog attacks in 2022 and in total since 2021 only 9 dogs were bully XL (suspected)
    3 fatal attacks in 2023
    what about the other 21,0091 dog attacks do the victims of them not count
    GSD , Labrabor, jack Russell, husky all killed kids and adults and other dogs during the same time scale yet you haven't I forced a ban on them breeds because they were not reported by the media scaremongering press

    This ban is unjust why should 35,000 + dogs and owners now paying for someone else crime our dogs didn't kill them people what happened to innocent until proven guilty
    Now owners of innocent well-behaved dogs of all different ages old and pups that have never put a paw wrong classed as dangerous because of a tape measure and looks adding BSL legislation is outdated our pets now
    Lose the right to run free a life of restrictions
    Loss of pet insurance dogs with long term conditions treatment now not covered
    The rights to use boarding kennels
    People being evicted from their rental property
    Holidays cancelled
    Home insurance invalid
    Puppies banned from play groups
    Puppies miuzzeled at 12 weeks
    Banned from training groups
    Banned from hydrotherapy treatments
    The list is endless

    Dogs being classed as xl when they clearly not owners in a panic stressed at a loss frightened they will loose their family pets because our government have rushed this ban into place without listening to the experts
    Multiple Rescue centres and vets disagree with your findings yet you chose to ignore them
    To make the conservatives look good well that ship has long sailed

    Innocent dogs in rescue that are well behaved trained and behaviour tested now slaughtered because of how they look no right to a loving home
    BSL is cruel
    Look a Ghost XL Bully wrongly seized by Leicester police accused of being out of control yet CCTV proved otherwise
    He came home after 10 weeks thin with multiple injuries
    Animal abuse caused by government-funded kennels that cost upwards of £125,000 each

    Your Ban is unjustified cruel and out dated 1871 DDA act is over hundred years old and 1991 BSL need abolishing
    You need to think again about this legislation is so wrong unfair and cruel on innocent dogs

    You need to put in place unexemption proccess and fast this is getting out of hand
    We have neighbours reporting none xl dogs to police
    We have owners being attacked in parks
    Abused because they are walking a muzzled dog
    Dogs dumped by horrible owners
    Dogs set on fire
    Thrown from cars on motoaway

    Do you hand on heart honestly think that drug dealers and organised crime groups will care wether or not they have to exempt their dog they treat them like shite
    They will just let them lose and go get the next big breed the online search for cane C or so has rocketed that's what this unscrupulous people will now get to protect their crime empire

    And the good honest innocent dogs and people are now classed as criminals

  7. Comment by Nathan posted on

    You are disgusting. You are condemning a whole heap of dogs to eternal misery just because you cannot CLEARLY outline EXACTLY what an XL Bully is.

    All of your classifications fall on many different and associated breeds which are needlessly being dragged into this. You seriously need to issue revised and CLEAR AND CONCISE information regarding what EXACTLY you and your enforcement are considering XL Bully dogs.

    I guarantee you that every single XL Bully has more brains and more decency than anyone in the UK government and associated departments. I can think of a few bans being put in place for things more dangerous than a misunderstood dog breed.

    There were so many more things you could have done, but instead, you decide to punish families of these dogs that will forever be changed because of some unfair jobs worth individual making decisions on their personal opinion. If you can't issue concise data and can't accurately enforce a ban correctly so it doesn't affect other breeds, god help us all.

    Shame. on. You.

    Do your jobs correctly and update the information to give an EXACT description to put people out of unnecessary misery.