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Woe for XL Bully lovers as ban comes into effect

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The ban on XL Bully dogs in England and Wales has started, making it illegal to have an unregistered XL Bully dog from today, 1 February.

Because of this ban, owners of XL Bully dogs must register them, get them microchipped, and follow certain safety rules, like using a leash and muzzle in public places and neutering the dogs. Most dogs need to meet these rules by 30 June, but dogs under one year old have until the end of 2024. Owners of XL Bullies could lose their dog, face legal proceedings, and may even get a criminal record for non-compliance.

The ban is continuing to cause dismay and outrage among responsible XL Bully owners and dog lovers, arguing that it is ‘deed and not breed’ that is the root cause of the problem. 

The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on dangerous dogs, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hobrough, has called for the public to help by reporting any XL Bully dog owners who aren’t abiding by the regulations, saying “I would encourage strongly people to be compliant if that were the situation with their own dogs because one of the very tests that is made about a dog or an owner [in court] is that the dog is not aggressive, but also that the owner is fit and responsible and not aggressive also. So, if either of those things were not complied with, then there would be no option for a court then but to destroy the dog.”

The government has clearly stated it’s backing the police to strictly apply this ban, with discussions already happening this week between ministers and police leaders on how to enforce it. Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said, “We’ve kept our promise to introduce this vital rule to keep people safe, and we expect all XL Bully owners to stick to these strict guidelines.”

The Scottish government is also planning to introduce a similar ban in due course.

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