Nationally there have been numerous shocking incidents that have caused considerable concern in our communities, in relation to the danger out of control dogs pose. The UK Government has now passed legislation in support of action being taken.
The aim of this legislation is to encourage responsible ownership, ensuring dog control issues are addressed before they escalate.
Owners who let their dogs terrorise people or other animals are already breaking the law, with several powers available to police and partner agencies to impose penalties on irresponsible owners, these can lead to the dog being either rehomed or euthanised and owners facing a custodial sentence.
However, given the significant rise in XL Bully related attacks and breeding practices linked to organised criminality, the XL bully breed has now been formally banned by the UK Government.
From 31 December 2023, the first stage of the XL bully ban came into force and the breed was added to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
It is now an offence 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, the second stage of the XL bully ban came in to effect. It is a criminal offence to own an XL Bully dog in England and Wales unless your dog has a Certificate of Exemption, third party insurance, with the dog muzzled and on a lead in a public place. If not, police may have the power to seize it.