In response to recent devastating dog attacks the government has stated that XL bully dogs will be added to the list of banned breeds in the UK. From 31st December 2023 it will be illegal to breed, sell, advertise, rehome, abandon or allow an American Bully XL dog to stray. We at Holmer, along with a vast majority of veterinary professionals and dog advocates are concerned about the focus on breed not deed, as many XL bully's are good natured and not dangerous. The government has published an official XL bully definition but because the XL bully is a dog type not a specific breed, with characteristics similar to many other common dog breeds, there is concern that non XL bully's will get mistakenly identified as one. For our registered clients who are concerned this may happen to their dog we are happy to provide an opinion as to the likely breed and whether it fits the XL bully description.
Currently, as it stands, by 1st February 2024 XL bully owners will legally need a certificate of exemption from DEFRA to own an American XL bully dog. To apply for a certificate of exemption under the Dangerous Dogs Act, an application form will need to be submitted to the Index of Exempted Dogs with proof that the dog is neutered, microchipped and has third-party liability insurance (one way to obtained this is by joining the Dogs Trust Companion Club). Full details of how to acquire a certificate of exemption have not yet been made available but it is understood that there will be an application fee of £92.40. XL bully dogs will need to be muzzled and kept on a lead when going out into a public place. Whilst we at Holmer are happy to help owners ensure their dogs are legal we cannot support the euthanasia of healthy well balanced dogs regardless of breed.
For more information please see the following useful links: