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Support for XL Bully Owners

Do you own a XL Bully or XL Bully type dog? 

We appreciate this must be a challenging and uncertain time for you. To support you in navigating the upcoming changes we have compiled a list of support resources. Please rest assured that dogs under our care will receive the same level of attention and consideration as any other patient. The only difference is that, in accordance with the law, they will need to be muzzled in public. We are committed to ensuring the well-being of both our human and canine clients, and we are here to provide guidance and assistance during this transition.

What are the changes? 

Following its decision to deliver a ban of XL Bully dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act, the Government has released further details of the ban.  

The legislation affects dogs in England and Wales and will be introduced in three parts: 

    1. Following the announcement on 31st October 2023, the Government has published an official definition of an XL Bully dog and guidance on how vets can prepare. Owners must now keep these dogs on a lead and muzzled in public, and breeders have been told to stop breeding ahead of the ban coming into force. 
    2. On 31st December 2023, it became illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon or allow XL Bully dogs to stray.
    3. From 1st February 2024, it will also be illegal to own an XL Bully dog in England and Wales unless your dog has a certificate of exemption. Owners will have until the end of January to register them and to comply with requirements, which include ensuring your dog is microchipped and neutered.
    4. If found to be in possession of an XL Bully type without a Certificate of Exemption, owners face a criminal record and an unlimited fine and their dog could be seized.

If you are unsure whether or not your dog is an XL Bully, advice is currently to comply with new legislation. It is possible to contact the Dog Legislation Officer (DLO) at your local police service, this is an officer who is trained in dog law and how to identify a banned dog. 

Vets will not be expected to report XL Bully dogs and their owners to the police, or to determine whether a particular dog is of a banned type. 

How can we support you? 

Muzzle Training 

Wearing a muzzle might be a new experience for your dog and you should take time to introduce this, as you would have when they learned to use a collar and lead.  

Read our muzzle training guide to help your dog become familiar with a muzzle and learn it’s nothing to worry about. 


Neutering and Microchipping 

If your dog is less than one year old on 31st January 2024, it must be neutered by 31st December 2024. 

If your dog is older than one year old on 31st January, it must be neutered by 30th June 2024. 

You can contact our Small Animal Practice reception team to arrange an appointment to discuss microchipping and/or neutering with our team 01934 852 422 

Once your dog has been neutered our vets can complete the proof of neutering form which is returned to Defra. 


Information updated 16.01.24

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