Back to Resources & guides

XL Bully ban: guidance for vets

It is now illegal under the Dangerous Dogs Act for anyone in England or Wales to own an XL Bully type dog without a Certificate of Exemption. 

To help our members with the implications of the ban, we've collated the most up-to-date information into this practical guide for veterinary teams in England and Wales. 

This is a live resource, which will be updated as further details on the ban are released or clarified by the Government. This information was last updated July 2024. 

Latest updates 
  • 15 January 2024: [New addition] Defra clarification on whether a veterinary practice or consult room are classed as a 'public space'.
  • 18 January 2024: BVA publishes blog on navigating the XL Bully ban.
  • 31 January 2024: Scotland confirms XL Bully ban timeframe. 
  • 1 February 2024: It is now illegal to own an XL Bully type dog without a Certificate of Exemption in England and Wales.
  • 23 February 2024: It is now illegal to own an XL Bully type dog without a Certificate of Exemption in Scotland.
  • 1 March 2024: [New addition] 'Exempted dogs in practice - key points'
  • 5 March 2024: Update to the Scotland XL Bully ban timeframe (See Legislation section)
  • 7 March 2024: Dog Control Coalition responds to restrictions on XL Bully type dogs in Northern Ireland
  • 7 March 2024: Scottish Government extends XL Bully neutering window following BVA pressure
  • 14 March 2024: Defra extends XL Bully neutering window in England and Wales
  • 1 April 2024: Scottish Government has opened exemption and compensation schemes for XL Bully owners in Scotland.
  • 30 May 2024: New deadline for confirmation of neutering form: 26 July 2024 (for dogs aged over 12 months on 31 Jan 24)
  • 12 June 2024: Two new FAQs on last-minute neutering requests, available in the 'Veterinary care' section.
  • 17 June 2024: DAERA announces new XL Bully Dog safeguards to be introduced in Northern Ireland
  • 12 July 2024: Department for Rural and Community Development announce XL Bully dogs will be banned in Republic of Ireland


This is a member-only resource, to access you will need to log in to your BVA account. 

>> Access now