What You Need to Know About XL Bully Ban

Angela Vuckovic
by Angela Vuckovic
Zanna Pesnina/Shutterstock

American XL Bully dogs will be banned by the end of the year after numerous attacks were reported across the United Kingdom. The term "XL Bully" typically refers to a type of  American Bully breed known for its muscular build and larger size compared to standard American Bullies. These dogs are often selectively bred for their size, strength, and temperament, so while they are not inherently aggressive, they have the means to do some damage if they are reared to be dangerous.

The ban has owners of bully breeds across the UK scared and confused, so here’s what you need to know about the details of this edict. Starting from December 31st, all XL Bullies will have to be kept on a lead and have a muzzle while in public. What is more, from this date it will be completely illegal to advertise, breed, sell, exchange, gift, or abandon or let stray any XL Bullies. In short – it is a decisive strike against this breed, as announced by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, earlier this year.

Furthermore, a complete ban on people owning XL Bullies will come into force in the UK from February 1st, 2023. This had owners scared that their pets would have to be put down just because of their breed, but, luckily, that’s not the case. If the owner applies before the end of January, with the wish to keep their pet. With that, the household will receive an exemption certificate, but it will also have to comply with a very strict set of rules related to the breed. 

UK government department Defra has announced that it received more than 4,000 exemption applications so far and that a “majority” were approved. Their spokesperson said that “ "The majority of applications are successful and the majority of successful applicants are receiving their certificates in less than a week."

This only supports the assurances that there will be no “forced” euthanization of these dogs. However, those people that do not apply for an exemption by the end of the deadline, will have to put their XL Bullies down. They will be granted £200 to cover the costs of a vet euthanizing their dog. Rescue and rehoming organizations can claim £100 per animal for the same purpose. The government's website states "the euthanasia must be performed by 31 January 2024" for these financial claims to be successful. 

Sadly, because of this new law, at least 246 XL Bullies will be put down in the coming period, as their owners did not apply for an exemption, or were not granted one. 

American XL Bullies are not the first dogs to be banned in the UK. Several breeds were banned in the past, and owning them is now completely illegal. These breeds include the  Pitbull terrierJapanese TosaDogo Argentino, and  Fila Brasileiro. Owning a banned dog breed can get you in plenty of trouble, specifically an unlimited fine and a six-month prison sentence. 

Angela Vuckovic
Angela Vuckovic

A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.

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