The UK government has recently passed new legislation concerning XL Bully dogs. This breed has now been included in the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. The law is being implemented in two stages.
Stage One: Restrictions from 31st December 2023
From this date, it becomes illegal to:
- Sell an XL Bully dog
- Abandon an XL Bully dog or let it stray
- Give away an XL Bully dog
- Breed from an XL Bully dog
- Have an XL Bully dog in public without a lead and muzzle
Stage Two: Ownership Restrictions from 1st February 2024
From this date, it becomes a criminal offence to own a Bully XL dog in England and Wales unless your dog has a Certificate of Exemption.
Implications for Current Owners
Owners who wish to keep their dogs will have until the end of January to register them and will be required to comply with strict requirements. In addition to being muzzled and kept on a lead in public, these dogs must also be microchipped and neutered. Dogs that are under one year old when the ban comes in must be neutered by the end of the year, older dogs must be neutered by the end of June.
Concerns Raised by Animal Welfare Groups
Animal welfare groups have expressed concerns that the impending ban on the breed will overwhelm vets and rescue centres. A north-east England animal charity has warned that the new restrictions on Bully XL dogs will lead to many being euthanised.
The new law on Bully XL dogs in the UK is a significant development in the country’s animal welfare legislation. It aims to protect the public from tragic dog attacks. However, it also raises important questions about animal welfare and the responsibilities of pet ownership. As the law comes into effect, it will be essential to monitor its impact on both public safety and animal welfare.