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Scottish XL bully owners warned of exemption deadline
From 1 August, it will be illegal to own an XL bully in Scotland without exemption.
Owners have until midnight on 31 July to apply for an exemption certificate.

The Scottish government has reminded owners of XL bully type dogs of the upcoming deadline to apply for exemption from the XL bully ban.

From 1 August 2024, it will be illegal to own an XL bully type dog without an exemption certificate, or having applied for a certificate.

XL bully owners have until midnight on 31 July to make an online application for exemption. The deadline for postal applications is 15 July.

It costs £92.40 to apply for an exemption certificate. Owners must also get third party insurance, and neuter and microchip their dog.

If an owner decides not to keep their dog, they can apply for compensation.

All exempt XL bully dogs must continue to be kept on a lead and muzzled when in public, following legislation introduced on 23 February. If an XL bully owner is convicted of failing to follow the safeguards, they may receive up to six months imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000.

The exemption application process first opened on 1 April and, since then, 768 dogs have been registered for exemption. This includes 761 registered online and seven postal applications.

Siobhian Brown, victims and community safety minister with the Scottish government, said: “We are now half-way through the time period available to apply for an exemption and I encourage owners who have not yet applied to do so now.

"The scheme is necessary to allow for XL bully owners to legally keep their dogs in the long term, while agreeing to adhere to the necessary safeguards that will help reduce any risks to public safety.”

The Scottish SPCA said: “We continue to believe that safeguards that the Scottish government has chosen to implement is not the solution to the issue when it comes to preventing dog control issues, but as a responsible charity, we will of course continue to comply with legislation that has and will be implemented.

“We welcome the Scottish government’s determination to work with the Scottish SPCA and other key stakeholders which includes the Dog Control Coalition of which the Scottish SPCA are members of to assess the impact of these restrictions being implemented.”

The government has provided this guide for owners to check if their dog is an XL bully.

Image © Shutterstock

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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