A LEADING pets charity has serious reservations about the UK Government's XL Bully ban - including stigma towards the dogs and cost

With the introduction of the XL Bully ban in England and Wales, the countdown is now on for owners to comply with the new legislation before time runs out.

People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) say they have several concerns about the ban.

Timeline of the XL Bully ban

  • Right now, all XL Bully type dogs must be wearing a muzzle and kept on a lead when in public. It is also now illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon or allow an XL Bully type dog to stray;
  • Owners can no longer apply for a Certificate of Exemption by email or by post (deadline was January 15) – the only way to now apply is through the government website;
  • The deadline to apply for an Exemption through the Government website is by midday on January 31;
  • From February 1, XL Bully type dogs must have a Certificate of Exemption;
  • By June 30, 2024, all XL Bully type dogs over one year old on January 31, 2024, must be neutered;
  • By December 31, 2024, all XL Bully dogs under one year old on January 31, 2024, must be neutered.

XL Bully type dogs going to be around for years to come

PDSA Vet Lynne James shared some key information, as well as some of the charity’s concerns.

Ms James said: “Although there is now a ban in England and Wales, the current population of XL Bully type dogs is going to be around for years to come.

“The government has determined the physical characteristics which will decide if a dog fits the ‘breed type’ of the XL Bully.

"However, they have confirmed that other established breeds, such as those recognised by the UK Kennel Club, who may meet some of the characteristics of the XL Bully breed type, are not covered by the ban.

“The government has also stated owners are responsible for determining themselves if their dog is classified as an XL Bully type or not, and whether that means they should apply for an Exemption.

“We also know, regardless of personal thoughts about the ban, all owners of dogs deemed to fit the XL Bully type will now need to follow the guidance."

Owners found not complying with the legislation may face a criminal record and have their dog seized, or, in some cases, dogs may even be put to sleep."

Barry And District News: Clockwise from left: A still from CCTV footage showing the dog that killed Jack Lis; Emma Whitfield; Amy Salter; Jack LisClockwise from left: A still from CCTV footage showing the dog that killed Jack Lis; Emma Whitfield; Amy Salter; Jack Lis (Image: Gwent Police, Wales News Service)


Rushed through legislation on XL bully ban

PDSA say they are also concerned about people struggling to afford Exemptions.

Ms James added: “In addition to our concerns about this rushed-through legislation, the timeline of the ban in England and Wales is adding unnecessary pressure on owners who are already in a stressful situation. 

“We’re also concerned that the potential stigma of owning a ‘banned breed’ could sadly lead to owners feeling unable to walk or socialise their dogs. This will no doubt have a severe negative impact upon the welfare of these dogs."

Head to PDSA’s website to find out more.