The New Law For XL Bully Dogs

Must knows:

From 31 December 2023 it will be against the law (in England and Wales) to:

  • Breed from an XL Bully dog
  • Advertise or sell  an XL Bully dog
  • Abandon an XL Bully dog or let it stray
  • Give away, gift or exchange an XL Bully dog
  • Have an XL Bully in public without a lead and muzzle

From 1st Feb 2024 it will become illegal in England and Wales to own an XL bully that has not been registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs – the register of banned dogs that may nevertheless be legally kept provided their owners comply with requirements including on neutering, microchipping and muzzling.

Information for owners:

Paper application form attached.
Links to claiming compensation for owning a XL bully:

Preparing for the changes in the law:

If you want to keep your XL Bully dog after the ban, you must apply for a Certificate of Exemption by 31 January 2024.

To get a Certificate of Exemption you must:

  1. Get third party public liability insurance cover for your dog.
  2. Neuter your dog permanently if it is not already neutered. Read Neutering an XL Bully for when you must have your dog neutered. A vet must confirm if your dog is already neutered.
To keep an XL Bully dog it must be:
  • Microchipped (if less than 8 weeks old when you apply for a Certificate of Exemption, you’ll have until 31 March 2024 to give the microchip number to Defra)
  • Kept on a lead and muzzled at all times when in public
  • Kept in a secure place so it cannot escape
  • Neutered (dogs under 1 year of age when the ban comes in must be neutered by the end of 2024, while older dogs must be neutered by the end of June 2024)
As the owner, you must also:
  • Be over 16 years old
  • Take out third party public liability insurance against your dog injuring other people
  • Be able to show the Certificate of Exemption when asked by a police officer or a council dog warden, either at the time or within 5 days

All of the above information is from the website. For further information please visit Or speak to one of our friendly team for help and advice.