XL Bully Ban

From 31 December 2023 breeding, selling, advertising, rehoming, abandoning and allowing an XL Bully dog to stray will be illegal.

New laws banning XL Bully type dogs have been laid in Parliament, as the Government adds the breed to the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

From this date, these dogs must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public. Owners of XL Bully dogs are recommended to start training their dog to wear a muzzle and to walk on a lead ahead of the legal restrictions coming into force.

Breeders have also been told to stop mating these types of dogs from now in preparation of it being a criminal offence to sell or rehome these dogs.

From 1 February 2024 , it will then become illegal to own an XL Bully dog if it is not registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs. By staggering these two dates, current owners of this breed will have time to prepare for these new rules.

Owners who wish to keep their dogs will have until the end of January to register them and will be forced to comply with strict requirements. As well as being muzzled and kept on a lead in public, these dogs must also be microchipped and neutered.

Dogs under one year when the ban comes in must be neutered by the end of the year, older dogs must be neutered by the end of June.

From 1 February, owners without a Certificate of Exemption face a criminal record and an unlimited fine if they are found to be in possession of an XL Bully type, and their dog could be seized.

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said:

“The transition period for XL Bully dogs has now started. It is important that XL Bully owners read the guidance and take all the necessary steps. This includes applying for a Certificate of Exemption if you want to keep your dog and ensuring they are muzzle trained by the end of the year, as your dog will need to be muzzled and on a lead in public after 31 December 2023.

“XL breeders should have also now stopped breeding their dogs and I would advise all owners to make an appointment with your vet to get your XL Bully neutered as soon as possible.”

For more information please see the Defra webpages:

Information about XL Bully dogs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Prepare for the ban on XL Bully dogs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Official definition of an XL Bully dog - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Transition period for XL Bully owners begins - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Apply for a Certificate of Exemption to keep an XL Bully dog

Apply for a Certificate of Exemption by email or post to keep an XL Bully dog

Defra in the media - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

More information can be found on the forthcoming ban on the following webpages:

American XL Bullies (rspca.org.uk)

American Bully XL ban: what owners need to know | Dogs Trust