Owning an XL Bully dog will become illegal in the UK by February 2024 unless they are registered (Picture: PA)
Official applications to keep an XL Bully in the UK have now opened, the government has announced.
It will be against the law to own an XL Bully from February 1, 2024 unless the animal is on an exemption list, called the Index of Exempted Dogs.
By the end of 2023, it will become illegal to sell an XL Bully, give away, abandon or let them stray.
They will also need to be muzzled and kept on a lead in public at all times.
Owners who wish to keep their dogs must apply to an exemption scheme or can choose to have their dog euthanised and apply for compensation.
The cut-off for registering XL Bullies is January 2024 – owners will then be forced to comply with strict requirements such as ensuring their dog is microchipped and neutered.
XL Bully dogs have been at the centre of a number of attacks across the county in recent years (Picture: South Yorkshire Police / SWNS)
The government announced the breed will be outlawed earlier this year (Picture: SWNS)
Dogs more than one year old on January 31 must be neutered by June 30 next year, while those under 12 months old must be neutered by December 31, 2024.
Owners without a certificate of exemption will face a criminal record and an unlimited fine if they are found to be in possession of an XL bully as of February 1, and their dog could be seized.
It will cost pet owners £92.40 per dog for each application and third party public liability insurance for a banned breed of dogs must be in place.
Chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss has urged XL bully owners to begin the process of registering their pets.
A strict set of rules will be imposed for those wishing to keep their XL Bully – those who do not register or comply can have their dog seized (Picture: Shutterstock / BAUER Alexandre)
She said: ‘The transition period for XL bully dogs has now started. It is important that XL bully owners read the guidance and take all the necessary steps.
‘This includes applying for a certificate of exemption if you want to keep your dog and ensuring they are muzzle trained by the end of the year, as your dog will need to be muzzled and on a lead in public after December 31, 2023.
‘XL breeders should have also now stopped breeding their dogs and I would advise all owners to make an appointment with your vet to get your XL bully neutered as soon as possible.’
The introduction of the new law after comes after a string of attacks by XL Bullies in the UK, which left two dead and many others injured.
Ian Langley was mauled to death by an XL Bully in October (Picture: PA)
Ian Price, 52, died after he was attacked by two XL Bullies in September (Picture: Facebook)
Schoolgirl Ana Paun, 11, suffered serious injuries when she was pounced on by an XL Bully while walking through Birmingham in September 2023 (Picture: Anita Maric / SWNS)
In October, 54-year-old Ian Langley was mauled to death near Sunderland after he was pounced on while trying to protect his own terrier pup.
His death came just two weeks after dad Ian Price, 52, was killed by two XL Bullies while trying to protect his elderly mother at her house.
Several children have suffered serious injuries in attacks by XL Bullies, including 11-year-old schoolgirl Ana Paun who was mauled in Birmingham in September.
If you are an XL Bully owner, you can apply for a certificate of exemption to keep your dog here.
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The breed will officially soon be illegal.