Changes to laws regarding XL Bully dogs - Lincolnshire Housing Partnership

Posted 23 February 2024

Changes to laws regarding XL Bully dogs

The UK Government has recently announced that XL Bully Dogs will be added to the list of banned breeds in England and Wales. Lincolnshire Housing Partnership understands that this news may be distressing for dog owners and wishes to provide guidance on what this means and the necessary steps to comply with the new regulations.

What are the changes?

Effective 31 December 2023, the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 has been amended. It will become a criminal offence to:

  • Breed or breed from an XL Bully Dog.
  • Sell, exchange, or give away the dog.
  • Allow the dog in a public place without a muzzle and lead.
  • Abandon or let the dog stray.

Note: A public place includes the inside of a motor vehicle in a public area. The muzzle must effectively prevent biting, and the lead must be held by someone at least 16 years old.

XL Bully owners: what you need to do

From 1 February 2024, owning an XL Bully without exemption is illegal. To legally keep your dog, apply for a certificate of exemption, which currently costs £92.40 per dog. This must be done by the end of February 2024. The exemption process includes:

  • Obtaining third-party liability insurance
  • Microchipping your dog (already a legal requirement)
  • Neutering your dog (with specific deadlines based on the dog’s age)

Failure to comply with these conditions could lead to criminal charges and seizure of your dog. Always be prepared to present the Certificate of Exemption upon request by authorities.

Additional support and information

Reporting dangerous or banned dogs

Lincolnshire Housing Partnership’s role

If a Lincolnshire Housing Partnership customer is suspected of having a dangerous or banned dog, please inform us at 0345 604 1472 or by emailing after notifying the Police. We will collaborate with the authorities to determine the dog’s status and take appropriate action. Customers with an XL Bully must provide proof of compliance with the new regulations, including the Certificate of Exemption.