XL Bully Dogs – What you need to know

On the 31st October 2023 the UK Government announced that XL Bully dogs will be added to a list of dogs which are banned in England and Wales - and we understand this is hugely concerning and upsetting for owners. However we must comply with the law and this page is designed to provide you with information and guidance on what you should do if you currently own an XL Bully or are thinking of owning one.

XL Bully Dog

What has the government announced? 

On Tuesday 31 October, the Government announced that the American Bully XL type dog has been added the list of dogs banned in England and Wales under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. 

From 31 December 2023 breeding, selling, advertising, rehoming, abandoning and allowing an American Bully XL dog to stray will be illegal. From this date, these dogs must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public. 

From 1 February 2024, it will then become illegal to own an American Bully XL dog if it is not registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs.


What shall I do if I own an XL Bully?

Owners of XL Bully dogs need to visit the UK Government website and look at their advice and guidance.

It's important to know that from 31 December 2023, XL Bully dogs must wear a muzzle and be kept on a lead when in a public place. We strongly recommend that owners should start to train their dogs to wear a muzzle when in public and to walk on a lead before this date.

From 1 February 2024, it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully in England and Wales unless your dog has been exempted. You will have until 31 January 2024 to apply for a Certificate of Exemption to legally keep your dog and information about how to do this is on the Government website. Along with this, you must ensure your dog is microchipped, neutered, kept securely at home, and insured against injuring other people. Anyone owning or taking a XL Bully dog out in public must be over 16 years of age.


Will South Kesteven allow permission for me to keep an XL Bully?

In order for South Kesteven to consider permission, owners of an XL Bully will be required to provide their Certificate of Exemption. If permission is granted, owners will be required to ensure that they abide by the strict terms as outlined by the government legislation otherwise you could be committing a criminal offence and your dog could be seized.

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