XL Bully ban: Guidance issued for owners and breeders



Guidance has now been issued by the government for the XL Bully breed, after it was added to the list of banned breed dogs under the dangerous dogs act (1991).


The government have adopted a two step approach to this ban.


Step 1 (From 31st December 2023)


It is illegal to:


Sell, giveaway, abandon or breed from an XL Bully dog


Have an XL Bully dog in public without it being muzzled and on a lead


Step 2 (From 1st February 2024)


It is against the law to own an XL Bully dog in both England and Wales:


Unless you have a certificate of exemption for the dog


Unless it is microchipped (this requirement is mandatory for all dogs)


Unless you have an appropriate insurance policy


Unless the dog is neutered (Dogs aged under 1 on 31st January 2024 must be neutered by 31st December 2024 whereas dogs 1 year old or over on Januray 31st 2024 must be neutered by 30th June 2024)


Certificate of exemption for a banned breed:


If you wish to keep an XL Bully, you will need to apply for a certificate of exemption by the 31st January 2024. The cost of this is £92.40 and you will need to provide this if asked by the Police, council or a dog warden within 5 days of the request.


Official definition of the XL Bully banned breed:


The government has now defined the characteristics of the XL Bully breed and these definitions include height, head, bite and body types. If you are unsure if your pet is an XL Bully or worried that the characteristics are similar, please consult a vet as soon as possible.


Breeding XL Bully dogs:


From the 31st December 2023 it will be illegal to sell or rehome a litter of XL Bully puppies. The government suggests all XL Bully breeders should stop breeding activity now to avoid any issues after this date.


Buying. selling, abandoning or giving away:


From 31st of December 2023 it WILL  be illegal to rehome an XL Bully dog, even if you attempt to offer them for free. It is also illegal to abandon them. If you think a person is illegally attempting to rehome an XL Bully once the ban has come into effect, please visit the DEFRA site for additional guidance. 


If you discover or suspect an XL Bully dog has been abandoned, please contact your local council to report this to their stray dog service or a dog warden.


No adverts for XL Bully dogs will be accepted on Freeads from 31st December 2023 and any accounts attempting to rehome these may be removed.




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