On 31 October 2023, the UK government announced that XL Bully dogs will be banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. This means that from 31 December 2023, it will be illegal to:
- sell an XL Bully Dog
- abandon an XL Bully Dog
- give away an XL Bully Dog
- breed from an XL Bully Dog
- have an XL Bully Dog in public without a lead and muzzle
What happens now
Owners of XL Bully dogs should start training their dog to wear a muzzle and to walk on a lead in preparation for the ban.
Breeding of these dogs should now stop in preparation of the new ban.
From 1 February 2024, it will be illegal to own an XL Bully dog unless it is registered on the index of Exempted Dogs. Owners must register their dogs by the end of January 2024 and keep them muzzled and on a lead, neutered and microchipped.
Dogs under one year old when the ban comes into force must be neutered by the end of the 2024 and older dogs must be neutered by the end of June 2024.
Any owner of an XL Bully dog without a Certificate of Exemption from 1 February 2024 faces a criminal record, an unlimited fine and their dog could be seized if they fail to comply with requirements.
Additional information is available from Dogs Trust which offers advice and support to dog owners.