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XL Bully  – Added to Dangerous Dogs List – Owners need to take urgent action


Change of Law

It has been confirmed that XL Bully type dogs will be added to the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

The new rules come into force on 31 December 2023. After that date, it will be illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome or abandon XL Bully dogs in England and Wales.  This aligns XL Bully type dogs with the other banned breeds including Pitbull type dogs.

I own an XL Type Bully – what does it mean for me?

As of 31 December 2023, dogs must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public.

Owners will have until the end of January 2024 to register their dog on the Index of Exempted 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. This means the police can seize your dog and it could be destroyed.  You could face criminal proceedings.

We urge owners to act fast.  If you want to keep your dog, you need to register and keep them under strict requirements. The requirements include:

  • Always being kept on a lead and muzzled
  • Dogs being microchipped
  • Dogs being neutered/spayed

Breeding of XL Bully Dogs

It will become illegal to breed from an XL Bully dog or allowing for an XL Bully dog to be bred from any combination of other dogs.

If a Puppy is born after 31 December 2023, it will be an offence to sell the dog or to rehome them. This means breeding of XL Bully dogs needs to stop now.

There is a 9-week period (beginning on 31 October 2023) until the ban on selling comes into force. This will allow puppies born before 31 December to be sold.

Breeders need to stop breeding as dogs born after this period will fall foul of the legislation.

What next? Do I need a solicitor ?

The good news is that if you are a responsible dog owner you will be able to keep your much- loved pet.  You don’t need a solicitor.  You just need to exempt your pet.

We strongly advise you follow the guidance issued by the government which fully explains what steps need to be taken – you can read that guidance here. 

If you don’t take action, the police could seize your dog.  Seizures won’t begin until after 1 February 2024 but we know from dealing with other owners that having your dog seized and potentially on “doggy death row” can be a very stressful situation.

Please take responsibility now or you could lose your pet.

Lots of XL Bully type dogs, are lovely animals with responsible owners.

You don’t need legal advice at this stage as all you need to know and do is set out on the government website.  If your dog is seized after 1 February 2024 and you face proceedings please contact us for further advice but the message on this one is clear  – you don’t need a lawyer, you just need to take action now.

You can contact the team here or call us on 0151 480 5777 if you require immediate advice.





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