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Animal welfare information

For information and enquiries on animal welfare - please email [email protected] or call 01325 405888

XL Bully ban

The Government has announced it is to add the XL Bully breed type dog to the list of those banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.  This follows a concerning rise in attacks and fatalities which appear to be driven by XL Bullies. The new legislation applies in England and Wales.

From 31 December 2023, breeding, selling, exchanging, advertising, rehoming, gifting, abandoning and allowing an XL Bully dog to stray will be illegal. These dogs must also be muzzled and on a lead when in public.

From 1 February 2024 it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully in England and Wales unless the owner has a Certificate of Exemption. Apply for a certificate of exemption

The government has provided key dates and details on preparing for this ban

Find guidance for the official definition of an XL Bully dog

Licensed XL Bully Breeders 

XL Bully breeders should now stop all breeding activity as it will be a criminal offence to sell, transfer, exchange, gift or advertise these dogs from 31 December 2023.   Any licensees who are currently licensed to breed these types of dog must cease breeding from this date.

It will be illegal to breed from a XL Bully, and also for a XL Bully to be bred from any combination of other dogs.  

There is a nine-week period until the ban on selling comes into force to allow puppies that were bred before this legislation was introduced to be legally sold. It remains the case that puppies must not be sold before they are eight weeks old. Those who purchase a puppy before 31 December 2023 that is less than eight weeks old at that point, can still collect it legally when it is eight weeks old.

If you have concerns about the continued illegal breeding of XL Bully breed types from 31 December 2023, please report to police on 101 or Darlington Borough Council’s Licensing Department[email protected] or 01325 405888

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