Government issues new one month warning to XL bully owners

A XL bully dog
-Credit: (Image: Jacob King/PA Wire)


Government bosses have issued a new warning to XL bully owners in the UK, as most only have one month to act.

The XL bully breed was added to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 on December 31 last year. It is now an offence to sell, abandon, allow to stray, give away, breed from or have an XL bully in public without a lead or muzzle.

In order to keep an XL bully, owners also had to apply for a certificate of exemption from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) before midday on January 31.

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And on Thursday, May 30, DEFRA issued another deadline warning. New Gov.uk advice reads: "Owners of registered XL Bully dogs that were aged 12 months or older on 31 January 2024 must have their dogs neutered by 30 June 2024."

Owners, it adds, must then submit the Confirmation of Neutering form to DEFRA by July 26 - or their dog(s) will no longer be exempt. This could mean dogs being seized, as well as owners facing prosecution and a criminal record.

Gov.uk guidance continues: "For XL bully dogs already neutered, a vet must complete and submit a Confirmation of Neutering VCN01 form with the owner."

UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said: “The legal deadline for XL bullies to be neutered is now only one month away. Do not risk leaving it to the last minute, owners should book in to get their dog neutered as soon as possible.

“If evidence is not provided that the dog has been neutered by the relevant deadline, owners will be breaching the legal requirements to keep an XL bully dog and it could be seized by the police.”

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