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XL BULLY DOGS UPDATE - Change in the Law
7th February 2024

Owning or possessing an XL Bully is illegal unless registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs and compliant with the requirements. You can no longer apply to DFRA to join the Index if you missed the deadline.

It’s a criminal offence to own or possess an XL Bully dog in England and Wales unless you have a valid Certificate of Exemption.

It’s also an offence to:

sell an XL Bully dog
abandon an XL Bully dog or let it stray
give away an XL Bully dog
breed or breed from an XL Bully dog
have an XL Bully in public without a lead and muzzle, this includes being in a vehicle.
For the life of the dog, you must:

keep the dog at the same address as the certificate holder (you can keep the dog at a different address for a maximum of 30 days in a 12-month period)
tell Defra if you permanently change address (you do not need to do this if the dog is temporarily kept at a different address, which is allowed for a maximum of 30 days in a 12-month period)
tell Defra if the dog dies or is exported
have third party public liability insurance for your dog and provide Defra with proof that it’s been renewed each year
keep the dog muzzled in public places – Defra recommends using a muzzle that does not inhibit the dog from panting, breathing or drinking
keep the dog on a lead in public places – the lead must be securely held by someone at least 16 years old
keep the dog in secure conditions that will stop it from escaping
When asked by a police constable or authorised local authority officer, you must also provide:

access to the dog to read its microchip
confirmation of suitable third party liability insurance within 5 days of their request
the Certificate of Exemption within 5 days of their request
If you do not follow the requirements, your dog will no longer be exempt from the ban and it could be taken by the police.

If you have a Certificate of Exemption for your XL Bully dog, you must have third party public liability insurance for your dog.

The policy must:

be renewed annually for the life of the dog
be in the same name as the person named on the Certificate of Exemption
If you use a different insurance provider, you must check that the policy:

covers the policyholder for death or bodily injury to any person caused by the exempted dog
is suitable for a prohibited breed as defined under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
You must provide Defra with proof that you’ve renewed the insurance each year.

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