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Deadline approaches for Bully XL dog owners in England and Wales

A few 4,000 American bully XL owners have applied for exemption from an upcoming ban - but numerous more dogs could be out there, the UK's chief vet says.

A few 4,000 American bully XL owners have applied for exemption from an upcoming ban – but numerous more dogs could be out there, the UK’s chief vet says.

Regulatory Changes for Bully XL Breed

Dr. Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, has issued a reminder to owners of Bully XL dogs in England and Wales ahead of the upcoming legality changes effective from February 1st. After this date, it will be illegal to own a Bully XL in these regions.

Transitioning Regulations

Starting from December 31st, several restrictions will be imposed on Bully XLs. Owners must keep these dogs on a lead and muzzle them in public. Moreover, breeding, selling, advertising, gifting, exchanging, or abandoning these dogs will also become illegal. Stray dogs of this breed will not be allowed.

Exemption Scheme and Requirements

An exemption scheme has been introduced for current owners of XL Bully dogs. These dogs must be neutered and microchipped to be eligible for the exemption.

Encouragement to Register

Dr. Middlemiss stressed the importance of registering XL Bully dogs for exemption certificates. Over 4,000 owners have already registered, and the remaining owners are encouraged to begin the registration process promptly.

Insights and Statistics

Campaign group Bully Watch reported 351 attacks involving bully breeds in 2023. The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs mentioned that a majority of exemption certificates have already been issued. 

The regulatory changes were announced in September after a series of attacks involving the Bully XL breed prompted the introduction of stricter regulations.

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