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Over 4,000 American XL Bully owners apply for ban exemption

Over 4,000 American XL Bully owners have applied for an exemption certificate ahead of the upcoming ban.

There are just over six weeks left to apply for an exemption certificate before the ban comes into force on 1 February.

According to the government statement, it has taken “less than a week” for the majority of the certificates to have been issued.

Owners will need to provide proof that their dog has been microchipped and it will need to be neutered by 30 June for older dogs, and by the end of 2024 if the dog is under one year old.

UK Chief Vet Christine Middlemiss has now urged all owners of the breed to take all necessary steps to ensure they are complying with the law, including keeping their dogs on a lead and muzzled when in public.

It will also become illegal to breed, sell, advertise, gift, exchange, abandon, or let XL Bully dogs stray from this date.

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said: “Owners should read the guidance and ensure they are ready to comply with the new rules, which includes keeping your XL Bully dog muzzled and on a lead in public from 31 December.

“From 1 February 2024, it will also be a criminal offence to be in possession of an XL Bully in England and Wales unless you have applied for an exemption. Please do not risk leaving it to the last minute if you want to keep your dog, you should apply now for a Certificate of Exemption.”

After the transition period ends, owners without a Certificate of Exemption could receive a criminal record and an unlimited fine if they are found to have an XL Bully-type dog.

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