Pound Corner • Wangford • NR34 8RS
… your award winning, independent small animal practice

On 31st December 2023, XL Bullies (or dogs matching their appearance) became subject to the Dangerous Dogs Act and must be licensed. It will become illegal to breed, sell, abandon or give away XL Bullies.

An XL Bully is identified by its looks and size, it is not a Kennel Club recognised breed and cannot be identified or excluded by DNA testing. The new laws, including detailed guidance on how to decide if your dog is an XL Bully, can be found on the following government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/official-definition-of-an-xl-bully-dog 

There are other recognised breeds that may meet some of the characteristics of the XL Bully type. These are NOT covered by the ban.

We would like to emphasise that we have not been involved in producing the new legislation and will not be directly responsible for enforcing it. However, we have produced the following information to help guide you in understanding how to be compliant and keep ownership of an XL bully type dog, legally.

If you have a dog that fits the government’s XL Bully description, to be compliant with the new law, you will need to do the following:

1. Microchip your dog and if already microchipped, ensure the details are correct and up to date.

2. Obtain third party liability insurance for your dog. If you have insurance for vet fees, this is often included but please ensure this is the case. Otherwise, this is a membership benefit of joining the Dogs Trust, which costs £25 per year.

3. Your dog must be neutered. If he or she will be older than 1 year by 31st December 2023, then this must be done by 30th June 2024. If your dog will be under a year old by 31st December 2023, you have until 31st December 2024 to have him or her neutered.

4. You must register your dog with DEFRA and apply for an exemption certificate. There is a fee of £92.40 payable to the government and you can apply via the government website above.

5. Your dog must be muzzled and kept on a lead in public places, including parks, fields and roads. In line with this, we will also require you to muzzle your dog when you bring him or her to our practice. For help on how to size, fit and muzzle train your dog, please talk to one of our nurses or contact an approved dog training centre.

6. Unfortunately, Government Legislation has stated the only alternative to applying for an Exemption Certificate, is humane euthanasia. This must be carried out by an RCVS-registered veterinary surgeon on or before the 31st of January 2024. If this is something you are considering, please contact us to discuss further with a member of our team. 

      Our Policy on XL Bully type dogs

*We will continue to provide veterinary care for XL Bully type dogs.

*XL Bully type dogs and those that we consider fit the government’s description will be required to wear a muzzle whilst in public areas of the practice.

*Muzzles may be removed for examination when away from public areas of the practice only, at the discretion of the veterinary surgeon.

*It is not our responsibility to decide if a dog fits the description of an XL Bully (it is the owners) or to enforce the legislation.

*If clients refuse to muzzle their dogs whilst at the practice and we have requested they do so, we reserve the right to ask them to leave the practice.

We will not take desisions regardging XL Bully's lightly, and every decision will be made after careful consideration and consultation with our team. 

Our commitment to you and your pets remains unwavering. Our team are trained to handle all animals with the utmost care and respect. We believe every animal including XL Bully’s deserve the best possible compassionate care at all times.