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Strict new rules for XL Bully dog owners as ban comes into effect today

Strict new rules for XL Bully dog owners as ban comes into effect today

New rules for XL Bully dog owners come into effect today to ensure the safety of the public

Today marks the beginning of new restrictions imposed on a specific UK dog breed and owners in a bid to prevent further attacks.

New legal restrictions on XL Bully dogs are now in full force and there is a list of requirements that all owners must adhere to if they want to continue to keep their pets safe and away from the risk of being taken.

Under the new guidelines imposed by the government, as of today (31 December), it is now illegal to sell, gift, exchange, breed or abandon these dogs.

Other legal requirements include keeping XL Bully dogs on a lead and muzzled when in public.

It was announced earlier this year that there would be a decision made to ban the breed following rising concern regarding the safety of keeping XL Bullys as pets after 23 people tragically lost their lives due to vicious dog attacks in the last three years.

Under new legal restrictions, it is now illegal to sell, gift, exchange, breed or abandon XL Bully dogs.
Getty Stock Image

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak cracked down on the ownership of the breed after an increase in mauling’s which resulted in death, with one man dying after being attacked by an XL Bully this year.

Now, owners have been urged to apply to register their current dogs, with only a month left to meet the deadline when the outright ban comes into force on 1 February, 2024.

After that date, owning an unregistered dog will be a punishable criminal offence, but the other option has caused an uproar.

A recent compensation offer of £250 to have an XL Bully put down at the vets left dog owners online in a rage as they couldn’t believe that they were being given money to destroy their pets.

However, following a series of attacks carried out by the breed, Environment Secretary Steve Barclay stated that the government had met a pledge to take ‘quick and decisive action’ and swiftly added the XL Bully to a list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

The outright ban comes into force on 1 February, 2024.
Getty Stock Photo

To allow owners to keep their pets beyond the official ban in February, they will need to pay a fee of £92.40 to get a Certificate of Exemption, as well as their pet insured and neutered.

But the RSPCA has come out to warn that there could be a ‘huge risk’ to rescue centres that will be inundated with the breed and unable to cope.

Samantha Gaines, Acting Head of the Companion Animals Department at the RSPCA, told the Press Association: "What is really concerning is because the ban has come in at such a pace that there may be owners who are not ready for this, being able to ensure their dog is happy wearing a muzzle.

"There is some fear that people for whatever reason may have left it a bit late."

She added: "Breed is not a good or reliable predictor of aggressive behaviour."

If you are unsure about the full scope of the guidelines, make sure you visit the government website to make sure that you are prepared for the ban.

Featured Image Credit: Wirestock/Getty

Topics: Animals, News, Politics, RSPCA, UK News, Dogs