Animal welfare charity Blue Cross has called on the Government to provide information on how owners of American XL bully dogs can apply for a Certificate of Exemption before the ban on the breed comes into force.
Although owners have only 12 weeks to register their dogs, it is still unclear when the online registration portal will open. From 1 February 2024, it will be illegal to own an XL bully without a Certificate of Exemption.
The charity has said that the delay in providing the information is causing stress for owners.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has provided some guidance for owners, asking people who think they own an XL bully to check the official definition. From 31 December 2023, they will have to ensure their dog is muzzled and kept on a lead when in public.
The website recommends that owners who are unsure whether their dog fits the criteria to take a precautionary approach.
Becky Thwaites, head of public affairs at Blue Cross, said: “To announce the ban as coming into force without advice for those owners of well behaved and much-loved pets in how they take action as soon as possible to register their dogs as exempt, is incredibly alarming and unfair.
“The Government has put a huge amount of anxiety and stress on owners of the types of dogs that could be caught up in the ban under the very wide breed type definition provided.”
Image © Shutterstock