New XL Bully rules start today and owners could face jail if they miss deadline

An XL Bully named Pippa enjoys a run and a walk on a private and secure dog walking field
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

A new rule for some XL Bully owners comes into force today.

It has been against the law to breed or give away an XL Bully since December last year. Since February, it has been an offence to own one of the dogs without an exemption certificate.

The end of June marks the deadline for neutering XL Bully dogs that were 12 months or older on January 31, 2024. 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 may be seized by the police.

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If owners do not submit a confirmation of neutering form to DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) by July 26, the dog will no longer be exempt. This applies even if your dog was neutered before the new law came in.

If your XL bully was less than one year old on January 31, there is more time. The dog must be neutered by December 31, with evidence provided by the same date. Evidence, which is provided through a confirmation of neutering form, is needed even if the dog was neutered before the new law came in.

It remains an offence to breed or rehome an XL Bully dog regardless of its age. The UK government website warns: "You can get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months (or both) for having a banned dog against the law. Your dog will also be destroyed."

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