XL Bully Rules and Regulations

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

  • sell an XL Bully dog
  • abandon an XL Bully dog or let it stray
  • give away an XL Bully dog
  • breed from an XL Bully dog
  • have an XL Bully in public without a lead and muzzle

From 1 February 2024, it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully dog in England and Wales unless it has a Certificate of Exemption.

If you own an XL Bully, details of the process you must follow to apply for a Certificate of Exemption are set out on the Defra website.

The requirements include that your dog must be permanently neutered, or that a vet has confirmed your dog is already neutered, by certain dates, depending on the current age of the dog.

  • Less than 1 year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024
  • older than 1 year old on 31 January 2024, it must be neutered by 30 June 2024

Once your XL Bully dog has been neutered and their microchip checked, your vet will need to fill in a ‘Veterinary Confirmation of Neutering’ form (VCN01).

You may choose not to keep your dog, and instead take it to be euthanised by an RCVS-registered veterinary surgeon by 31 January 2024.

You and the vet will need to to fill in a VCE01 form. On this form, Defra requires the owner to declare that they believe their dog is an XL Bully, after reading the Government’s official definition.

Full details of the ban are available on the Defra website

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