Posted: Tue 31st Oct 2023

XL Bully dogs to be banned from end of year

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 31st, 2023

New laws banning XL Bully type dogs have been laid in Parliament today, as the Government adds the breed to the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

The UK government stated that today’s announcement fulfils its commitment “to enact laws to ban the breed by the end of the year and protect the public after a significant rise in fatal attacks.”

Starting 31 December 2023, breeding, selling, advertising, exchanging, gifting, rehoming, abandoning, or letting XL Bully dogs stray in England and Wales will be illegal.

From this date, these dogs must be on a lead and muzzled in public.

Owners of XL Bully dogs are “advised to begin training their dog to wear a muzzle and walk on a lead before the legal restrictions take effect,” said the government.

Breeders have also received instructions to halt the mating of these dogs immediately. This is in anticipation of it becoming a criminal offence to sell or rehome these breeds.

From 1 February 2024, owning an XL Bully dog not registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs will be illegal.

“By spacing out these two dates, existing breed owners will have ample time to adjust to the new regulations,” a spokesperson commented.

Owners wanting to retain their dogs must register them by the end of January and adhere to stringent conditions.

Besides being muzzled and on a lead in public, these dogs should be microchipped and neutered.

Puppies younger than a year at the ban’s initiation must be neutered by year’s end, whereas older dogs have until the end of June.

From 1 February, owners lacking a Certificate of Exemption risk a criminal record and an unspecified fine. If caught with an XL Bully type, their dog may be confiscated.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey remarked:

“We’re acting swiftly and decisively to shield the public from devastating dog attacks. Today, I’ve listed the XL Bully type among dogs forbidden under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

“It will soon be illegal to breed, sell, advertise, rehome, or abandon an XL Bully type dog. They also must be on a lead and muzzled in public. Eventually, owning such a dog without an exemption will be against the law.

“We’ll maintain close collaboration with the police, canine and veterinary professionals, and animal welfare organisations as we implement these critical steps.”

Owners can opt to euthanise their dogs, with financial assistance available for these expenses.

“More information on compensation claims and the necessary evidence will be released shortly,” stated a government representative.

Today, the ‘XL Bully’ breed’s definition was also unveiled.

The UK government elaborated, “This follows sessions with an expert panel, gathered by the Environment Secretary. This group, consisting of the police, local officials, veterinarians, and animal welfare specialists, assisted in defining the breed.”

“The definition offers distinct evaluation criteria for owners and enforcing agencies. This clarity is mandatory under the Dangerous Dogs Act to enact the prohibition.”

Owners can find the latest details on requisite actions and timelines on the dedicated page: ‘Prepare for the ban on XL Bully dogs – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).’

“Owners with uncontrollable dogs are already violating the law. Law enforcement has comprehensive authority to sanction them. As per the Dangerous Dogs Act, individuals can face up to 14 years in prison, be banned from owning dogs, or have their threatening dogs euthanised.”

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