XL bully, Luna, on a sofa chair looking very cute

Contact your MP about the XL bully ban

Help us today.

The government has released more information about their plans to add American bully XL types to the list of banned breeds in the UK by the end of 2023. 

We have serious concerns about the government’s proposals and are encouraging supporters to contact their MP, highlighting these concerns.

Take action now

The transition period

It will be illegal to breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon or allow XL bully type dogs to stray from 31 December 2023.

If you currently have an XL bully type, from 31 December 2023 you’ll be required to keep your dog on a lead and muzzled when they are walked in public. You’ll also need to comply with additional restrictions to get your dogs exempted, including having them neutered and getting third party insurance.

From 1 February 2024 it will be illegal to own an XL bully type without a certificate of exemption.

We are concerned that the length of the transition period does not provide enough time for XL bully type owners to prepare. We believe a longer transition period is needed to provide further clarity and give owners time to prepare and ensure compliance.

Vet capacity

The veterinary profession is already under incredible pressure, with a chronic lack of trained veterinary professionals. It is unrealistic to ask charities and private vets to neuter tens of thousands of dogs in such a short timeframe alongside their regular and emergency work.

Blue Cross is urging the government to reconsider the timeframe for neutering of dogs being added to the register.


Advice is also urgently needed from government as to how owners are supposed to identify if their dog is an XL bully type. Although the government has released specifications on XL bully type dogs, they recommend taking a precautionary approach. This creates stress and uncertainty for many owners who are unsure what this means for them and their pet.

Additional information, such as who owners should contact if they are unsure their dog meets the breed specification, needs to be provided. This failure to provide adequate information is causing additional worry to many owners what is already an extremely difficult and upsetting time.

Pressures on the rehoming and rescue sector

Golden XL bully, Luna, waiting on lead for her walk
XL bully, Luna, preparing for her walk

Blue Cross is extremely worried about the impact this law is going to have on the rescue and rehoming sector. After the end of the year, we will not legally be allowed to rehome XL bully type dogs.

We will be put in the unenviable position of having to put to sleep healthy animals based purely on the way they look. We are asking the government to allow us to rehome XL bully type dogs that have passed our strict and robust behaviour assessments. We want to these dogs to have a chance at life.

Take action

We know that many XL bully type owners and animal lovers in general share our concerns and are encouraging supporters to contact their MP.

Contact your MP

— Page last updated 16/11/2023