XL Bully Ban: New Laws & Owner's Next Steps

BullyBillows Author: BullyBillows
Posted: 15 Nov 2023 Human Reading Time: 3 Minutes
Dog Reading Time: 21 Minutes
XL Bully Ban: New Laws & Owner's Next Steps

If you are an XL Bully owner and are concerned about what your next steps should be, we have put together this guide to help. 

The XL Bully breed has been added to the list of canines banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 by the Government. 

The new laws will take effect in two phases to give owners time to adjust to the new legislation.

In this article, we explain exactly what XL Bully owner’s next steps are, what the ban means for breeders, and the new laws surrounding the ban. 

XL Bully breeders

In advance of it being illegal to sell or rehome these dogs, breeders have been instructed to cease mating XL Bully dogs. Breeding the breed will be a criminal offence. 

Will my XL Bully be destroyed?

The Government states that “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.” 

Is it illegal to own an XL Bully?

If an XL Bully dog is not included on the Index of Exempted Dogs, it will be an illegal offence to own the breed as of February 1, 2024. 

How to register an XL Bully

The Government has now confirmed that an exemption programme will be in place, allowing owners to retain their dogs if they meet specific requirements. The cost of a Certificate of Exemption is thought to be approximately £93, and your dog must adhere to stringent guidelines, such as being spayed and microchipped. 

Information on how to register your XL Bully for a Certificate of Exemption has not yet been released – we will update this article as soon as we have more information.

New rules for XL Bully owners

As of 31st December 2023, it will be illegal to:

  • Breed an XL Bully
  • Sell an XL Bully 
  • Give away an XL Bully
  • Abandon an XL Bully
  • Have an XL Bully in public without a lead and muzzle

As well as these new laws, XL Bully owners must adhere by owner rules. All XL Bully owners must: 

  • Microchip your XL Bully.
  • Ensure your XL Bully has been neutered. However, if your dog is less than one year old on 31 January 2024, they must be neutered by 31 December 2024.
  • All XL Bully breeds must be in a secure place so that they cannot escape.
  • If questioned by a Police Officer or Council Dog Warden, XL Bully breed owners must show their Certificate of Exemption at the time of the request or within five days. 
  • If your XL Bully passes away or you move home, you must inform the Index of Exempt Dogs.

Neutering recommendations 

According to the Government guidelines: “If your dog is less than one year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If your dog is older than one year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 30 June 2024.”

When your XL Bully dog has been neutered, have your vet complete the proof of neutering form for the Department for Environmental, Food & Rural Affairs

Muzzles and leads recommendations 

The Government have confirmed that all XL Bully breeds must wear a muzzle and be on a lead when in public spaces. In the Government’s guidance on XL Bully owner’s next steps, they said “we recommend that owners should start to train their dogs to wear a muzzle when in public and to walk on a lead before 31 December 2023.” 

If you are in need of a muzzle for your dog, see our Dog Muzzles. It is worth noting that we do not recommend your dog wear a muzzle for long periods of time or in hot weather. Dog muzzles should be used for short-distance walks so your dog can have a break from the muzzle. 

Read our Guide: How To Muzzle Train A Dog

It will also be law for XL Bully dogs to be on a lead. We recommend seeing our Dog Leads, we have specialist dog leads that are suited for different situations you will likely need a lead. See our Traffic Handle Dog Leads for maximum control or our most popular leads, the Combat Clip Leads.

Rehoming an XL Bully

The Government site confirms that “from 31 December 2023, it will be illegal to rehome, sell or transfer ownership of XL Bully dogs. From this date, rescue and rehoming centres should not rehome XL Bully dogs.”

Abandoning XL Bully breeds is illegal. 

If you or someone you know finds an XL Bully dog who has been abandoned, please get in touch with Your Local Council

Read our guide on The XL Bully Ban: What We Know So Far.

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