Advice to dog owners following XL Bully government announcement
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Northamptonshire Police is offering advice to dog owners following the government’s announcement on the planned prohibition of the XL bully type dog.
On October 31, 2023, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published official guidance regarding what an XL Bully dog is and how from December 31 this year, it will be against the law to:
Sell an XL Bully dog
Abandon an XL Bully dog
Give away an XL Bully dog
Have an XL Bully dog in a public place without a lead and muzzle
And from February 1, 2024, it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully in England and Wales unless you have a Certificate of Exemption for your dog.
If you want to keep your dog after the ban, you must apply for a Certificate of Exemption and you will have until 31 January 2024 to do so. DEFRA will provide more information soon on how to apply for an exemption and Northamptonshire Police will share this information.
A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said: “We understand that this government announcement will cause dog owners a lot of worry and we would urge people to visit the government’s webpage on preparing for the ban on XL bully dogs to see if you will be required to apply for an exemption.
“We have had a lot of calls regarding this issue with people even attempting to contact some of our officers on Facebook and we would kindly request those with questions to read the government’s guidance and also to monitor our website and social media for updates.
“If you believe your dog fits within the defined characteristics, or are aware your dog is an XL Bully, we would urge you to register them on the exemption scheme as soon as this is made available.”