XL bullies | National Society advice & information

Due to the recent news and announcements regarding XL Bullies, we appreciate that our community will undoubtedly have questions and anxiety regarding the issue and what it could mean for them. The national RSPCA have provided some useful advice and information for those concerned about the issue, (please see below). There is also some helpful links towards the end of the statement, should you need more advice and support. Thank you for your patience and understanding whilst we await further news.

We understand that the Prime Minister’s announcement today is worrying for owners of American Bully XLs. It is an emotive subject and today’s announcement will lead to a lot of questions. At the moment, we still don’t know the details of the Prime Minister’s proposals and we are awaiting further information from the Government.

Is it illegal for me to own an American Bully XL?

No, it is not currently illegal but the recent statement from the UK Government strongly suggests that they will be added to the list of ‘banned’ breeds meaning it may be illegal to own them in future without special permission.

What should I do if I own an American Bully XL?

We understand how unsettling this news is, however our advice is to keep calm while we await more information from the UK Government and please continue to give your pet the walks and care that they need. If you are concerned about your dog’s behaviour, we would urge you to speak to your vet and they can refer you to an ATBC registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist if necessary. If you have a dog that you know will lunge, growl or bark at other dogs or people, use a muzzle. This should be introduced gradually and positively so that the dog doesn’t feel uncomfortable with it on.

Can I report an American Bully XL to you?

We only take reports about cruelty and neglect, regardless of breed. We do not deal with complaints about dogs acting dangerously – please address any concerns about aggressive dogs to the police. As the current law stands, it is an offence to allow a dog of any breed or type to be dangerously out of control in a public or private place. There is no need to report American Bully XL’s to the police unless you are concerned about their behaviour.

What will the ban mean for people who own an American Bully XL?

We urge people with American Bully XLs to stay calm. It’s not clear yet how this will work, and whether American Bully XL owners will be able to legally keep their dog, as currently happens with banned types such as a pit bull terrier.

Under the current legislation, illegal types of dog are assessed and can be exempted if a court decides their behaviour does not pose risk to public safety and if the owner is considered approved. The dog will then have restrictions placed on them such as being muzzled in public and not being allowed off lead.

How can I apply for an exemption?

As the law stands, American Bully XL dogs are not banned and can be lawfully owned. No information has been provided from the Government on how this will work should American XL bullies be added to the list of banned breeds. As soon as we know more, we will update our website.

Do you have any information about how to stay safe around dogs?

Please read our advice on meeting unfamiliar dogs and how to keep children safe around dogs.


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