American XL Bully dogs added to banned list

American XL Bully dogs will be added to the banned list in the UK from 31 December, the government has announced. 

Owners have until 31 January 2024 to register their dogs should they wish to keep them. 

From 31 December 2023, it will be illegal to breed, advertise, sell, abandon or rehome an XL bully dog. 

Starting December 31, 2023, XL bully dogs are also required to wear muzzles and be kept on a leash while in public.

The environment secretary, Thérèse Coffey, said: “We are taking quick and decisive action to protect the public from tragic dog attacks and today I have added the XL bully type to the list of dogs prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act. We will continue to work closely with the police, canine and veterinary experts, and animal welfare groups, as we take forward these important measures.”

The Dog Control Coalition has expressed significant concerns about the “very short amount of time in which owners have to comply with the rules”.

Ministers are offering owners £200 in exchange for getting their XLs put to sleep by a vert. 

The UK Bully Kennel Club said “We plead with the general public to consider saving one of these beautiful dogs who are perfectly healthy and of sound temperament and will be put to sleep purely based on the way they look and not how they behave.”