XL Bullies are to banned from February 1, 2024 (Image: Getty)
From December 31, it will be an offence to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, give, rehome, abandon or allow them to go stray in England and Wales. They must also be kept on a lead and muzzled in public.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised a ban after a spate of attacks by the dogs over the summer. He described them as a “danger to our communities”, but said that work needed to be done in order to define the breed.
Last month a woman was injured when she was attacked by her own American XL bully in Brisley, Norfolk.
In September, Ian Price, 52, died in hospital after being attacked by two in Stonall, Staffordshire
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said she was adding XL bullies to the list of animals banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
She said ministers had taken “quick and decisive action to protect the public from tragic dog attacks”.
Miss Coffey added: “It will soon become a criminal offence to breed, sell, advertise, rehome or abandon an XL bully
“We will continue to work closely with the police, canine and veterinary experts and animal welfare groups as we take forward these important measures.”
It will also be illegal to own an XL bully from February 1, unless the animal is on an index of exempted dogs. The two dates have been staggered to allow owners to prepare for the new rules.
Those who want to keep their dogs will have until the end of January to register them on the exempt list. However, they must still obey strict requirements.
These include microchipping and neutering the dogs, keeping them on a lead and muzzling them in public.
Owners without an exemption certificate will be hit with a criminal record and an unlimited fine. Their dog could also be seized.
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