New restrictions on the XL Bully dogs :-(

New regulations regarding XL Bully dogs are now effective as of December 31. Owners must comply with the new law, requiring XL Bully dogs to be leashed and muzzled in public. Breeding, selling, advertising, gifting, exchanging, abandoning, or allowing XL Bully dogs to roam freely is now illegal.

The decision to implement these restrictions follows a significant increase in attacks by XL Bully dogs, resulting in 23 fatalities from dog attacks in the past three years. Many of these tragic incidents involved XL Bullies.

Owners are urged to register their XL Bully dogs promptly, as the government works to manage the existing breed population. The deadline for compliance is February 1, and owning an unregistered XL Bully dog after this date will be a criminal offense, punishable by a criminal record and an unlimited fine.

Owners who no longer wish to keep their XL Bully dogs are advised to have them euthanized by a vet. To determine if a dog qualifies as an XL Bully, owners should refer to guidance and photo examples provided.

Environment Secretary Steve Barclay emphasized the government’s commitment to protecting the public from dog attacks, with measures in place by the end of 2023. The ban on XL Bully dogs includes muzzling and leashing requirements, and further restrictions will be enforced starting February 1.

The government has taken a phased approach, adding XL Bully dogs to the Dangerous Dogs Act on October 31. Owners had two months to prepare for the initial stage of the ban, which prohibits breeding, selling, advertising, gifting, exchanging, abandoning, or letting XL Bully dogs stray. As of December 31, all XL Bully dogs must be leashed and muzzled in public.

Starting February 1, registration of XL Bully dogs is mandatory. By June 30, XL Bully dogs over one year old must be neutered, while the deadline is extended to December 31 for younger dogs.

Animal welfare organizations including  Blue CrossDogs TrustPDSA and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have provided resources for owners to train their dogs to wear muzzles. To register an XL Bully, owners must have active public liability insurance, a microchip, and pay the application fee. Neutering proof is required by specific deadlines.

Owners considering euthanasia for their dogs can apply for compensation, and detailed information is available on the government’s dedicated page. The neutering requirements vary based on the dog’s age on January 31, 2024.

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